The Nigerian House of Representatives has passed a second reading of a bill to demanding setting aside 40 percent of the annual budget to capital projects for the next ten years.
This was to bridge infrastructure deficit and ensure speedy development of the country.
The Bill sponsored by Speaker Femi Gbajabimilla titled Economy Stimulus Bill, stipulates a penalty of five years imprisonment or a fine of fifty Million naira or both for violation or attempt to frustrate the implementation of the Bill when signed into law.
The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, who presented the Bill, explained that investing more in capital projects will also attract more investments, create jobs for Nigerians and reduce unemployment.
In his personal contribution, Mr. Elumelu said “A critical look at the 2020 budget shows that just 10 per cent was earmarked for capital projects and the Bill was aimed at correcting these anomalies and the 120 billion Naira allocated to the power sector in the 2020 budget was not up to 1 per cent of the money needed to turnaround the moribund sector.”
Also speaking, Mr. Luke Onofiok from Akwa Ibom State, said a preliminary report of a research being conducted by him, has shown that most of the motions considered by the National Assembly in the last few years were due to the decay or near absence of Infrastructure in various Constituency.
He however expressed optimism that if the Bill is passed, it will go a long way to address the decay of Infrastructure in transport, power and works among others.
The bill also mandates the Accountant General of the Federation to submit quarterly reports to the National Assembly on the performance of the Capital Budget within two weeks after a corresponding quarter for its consideration.