The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is to spend about N12.9 billion for capital expenditures in 2017, against N7.3 billion appropriated for similar projects in 2016.
This is part of its fiscal allocations approved by the Federal Government in the year’s budget.
According to the 2017 Appropriation Act concerning the ministry, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, there is a significant difference of N5.6 billion between the appropriations in the years to the ministry.
A source in the ministry, however, told NAN that one billion Naira was appropriated as capital budget to the sector in 2015 and only N419 million was released to the sector from the amount.
“The ministry was given N4.3 billion from the N7.3 billion appropriated to the sector as capital budget in 2016; the amount appropriated to the ministry this year is encouraging to address some projects.
“This is a clear vision that government is committed to achieve its diversification plan through the sector; though the amount is not enough, it is better than the previous years,’’ the source said.
NAN learnt that some of the challenges and constraints of the 2016 budget comprised inadequate fund to projects, delay in the procurement process among others.
The source said that lessons learned by the ministry include early release of adequate fund for construction and installation of projects to facilitate early mobilisation, appreciable progress and performance of the budget.
The source also said allocation and release of adequate fund for procurement projects early in the year would allow completion of projects in the budget year.
The breakdown of the capital budget of the sector to its parastatal agencies are N6.4 billion for the main ministry; Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geosciences got N43.5 million.
The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) got N2.5 billion; the National Steel Raw Material Exploration Agency in Kaduna got N1.319 billion and National Metallurgical Development Centre in Jos got N308 million.
A total of N402 million was appropriated to Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, Anambra; the National Iron Ore Mining Project, Itakpe, in Kogi got N176.4 million and Nigeria Institute of Mining and Geosciences got N187.9 million.
The Nigeria Mining Cadestre Office and Centre got N484 million; Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited got N354.1 million and Solid Mineral Development Fund Office got N113.5 million.