2019 BUDGET: FG TO SPEND N42BN ON SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES
The Federal Government is planning to spend about N42bn for the rehabilitation of special economic zones in the 2019 fiscal period. The amount is contained in the 2019 budget proposal, which was presented to the National Assembly last Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The 2019 budget has an estimate of N8.83tn, made up of N4.04tn for recurrent expenditure, N2.03tn for capital expenditure and N2.14tn for debt servicing, among others.
The economic zones are being established by the government to drive manufacturing and exports of Nigerian products. The N42bn is to be spent on the construction of a road for Ikpokri Energy City project; the completion of Lekki model textile and garment industrial park; and provision of infrastructure at Brass Free Zone in Bayelsa State.
Others are the construction of textile and garment park in Lekki; construction of a special economic zone in Sokoto; construction of a special economic zone in Makurdi and the completion of consultancy work on Ebonyi, Edo, Adamawa, Rivers, Bauchi, Enugu, Gombe, and Abuja, among others.
In addition, the government is also planning to invest in Enyimba Industrial Park, and Ibom Deep Sea Port and City to stimulate exports of made-in-Nigeria products. The budget document stated that the sum of N1bn is being planned to be spent on industrial policy reforms and enabling business environment while Export-Expansion Grant would gulp N5.12bn.
The N5.12bn is to come in the form of tax credit to support export through the EEG. The budget document also stated that the government would be recapitalising the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture with N15bn in 2019. The amount is being provisioned to support the development finance institutions to support Micro, Small and Medium, scale Enterprises.
The document also explained that the sum of N10bn has been provided as a grant to BoI to subsidise interest rate charged on loans to SMEs. This is intended to make it possible for the bank to give them single digit interest loans.