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FG: N1.19trn spent on 36 states last year

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The Federal Government yesterday said it had supported the 36 states of the federation with the sum of N1.19 trillion as at September last year. Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who disclosed this in Lokoja at the maiden Kogi State Economic and Investment Summit, said the funds were made available to enable states in the federation meet the challenges of cash crunch for the execution of programmes in their respective states.

Osinbajo said the funds had enabled some state governments to embark on capital projects for the benefit of the people.

The vice-president stressed further that the funds were made available through excess crude account, the Paris Club loan refund and other loans, among others. He, however, explained that parts of the funds were the entitlements of the state that they legally had access to while some of them were loans to be repaid.

The vice-president also said that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had the highest capital expenditure in two years, noting that these were evident in the ongoing railway line construction, road constructions, hydro-power projects. Osinbajo said the summit came at the right time that the country was trying to reduce its dependence on oil and increase its non-oil income with the promotion of agriculture and the abundant solid mineral resources across the country.

Earlier, Governor Yahaya Bello said the summit was packaged to change the identity of the 27-year-old state from a civil service state to an industrialised one. He said his administration had in the last two years prepared the ground for economic and industrial breakthroughs for the state by solving the problems that had been hindering economic growth in the state.

“We are changing the toga of a civil service state to an economic and commercially viable one and we want investors to collaborate with us and contribute to the prosperity of the state. “Kogi State is now open for business, we want to be signing MoU, I invite the private sector to collaborate with us in our bid to develop the state, Kogi State is for serious business,” he added.

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