Govt’s N6.08tr budgetary proposal not bogus, says Fayemi
MINISTER of Solid Minerals and former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said the N6.08 trillion 2016 budgetary proposal presented before the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari is not bogus, despite being made in a non-oil dependent situation.
Fayemi said the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that received the largest share of N433 billion in the 2016 budget could still not boast that the amount would be more than enough to turn around the infrastructural facilities across the nation.
Fayemi also lamented the neglect of the mineral potentials of the country since independence, saying the sector has the capacity to turn around the nation’s economy, considering its local consumption by industries and export benefits.
Speaking in Isan Ekiti on Sunday during a thanksgiving ceremony marking his ministerial appointment, Fayemi said there is no amount that is budgeted to develop a vast country like Nigeria that is too much.
The former governor of Lagos State who superintends over the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing with about N433 billion budgetary provision cannot say the amount is enough to turn around the facilities of this country if you look at what was involved.
“Lagos-Ibadan expressway alone will gulp the sum of N250 billion while the remaining amount may go with the second Niger Bridge, so no minister can say the amount budgeted is more than enough,” he said.
Fayemi assured Nigerians that the budget is targeted at improving their lives, promising that it will be pursued with passion to realise its focus.
“The budget presented by President Buhari has a focus and the focus is to improve on the well being of all Nigerians and to improve on the infrastructural facilities across the nation.”
On the enormous mineral potentials of the country, Fayemi said Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement production is enough to attest to the fact that the country is richly blessed.
“Nigeria is well endowed. With our self-sufficiency in limestone for production of cement, marble, ceramic and many others in terms of local consumption and export rate, one would know that Nigeria is endowed.
In my local community in Isan Ekiti here, we have clay and kaolin and that was why we are regarded as pottery capital of Ekiti. But what have we achieved or done with this potential? And this endowment can be replicated a thousand folds across Nigeria.
In Ijero Ekiti, there is feldspar, tantalite stone, Kaolin and many others. Even just look at the stones across the country, if it is just to cut and polish and use as tiles, one cannot imagine the huge economic gains and the employment it will generate, let alone the export earnings that are involved.
“We have been getting cheap money from oil and now the cheap money is gone. Now, we have to look inward and that was exactly what the budget was targeted to achieve.”