The Federal Government has released N1.58tn to its Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the execution of capital projects as contained in the 2017 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, gave the figure in a statement issued in Abuja.

The 2017 budget, christened ‚ÄėBudget of Recovery and Growth‚Äô, was presented to the National Assembly on December 14, 2016, and passed by the lawmakers on May 11, 2017.

The fiscal document, which was signed into law by the then Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on June 12, 2017, had a total expenditure of N7.44tn, out of which N2.99tn was for non-debt recurrent spending, N2.36tn for capital expenditure, while debt servicing was to gulp N1.66tn.

In the statement signed by the Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Hassan Dodo, the minister said the N1.58tn released for capital projects for 2017 was N370bn higher than the N1.21tn that the government made available to the MDAs for 2016.

Out of the N1.58tn, Adeosun stated that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing received the highest amount of N523.01bn.

This, she noted, was 33.1 per cent of the total capital release for the 2017 fiscal period.

The sector, according to her, also received the highest release in the 2016 capital budget of N307.41bn, representing 25.21 per cent of the entire capital budget for the year.

She said defence received the second highest capital release of N197.59bn, which was 12.50 per cent of the total N1.58tn released for 2017.

This was N120.06bn higher than the N77.53bn that the sector got from the 2016 budget.

The statement said agriculture and water resources received a total of N149.48bn, which was 9.46 per cent of the capital budget received for the 2017 budget.

The sector had received N143.12bn, which was 11.74 per cent of the capital release in 2016.

Transportation followed with total capital receipt of N126.25bn, which was 7.99 per cent of the 2017 capital budget as against the N171.9bn that the sector got in 2016.

The statement also said health and education together received a total of N98.19bn, representing 6.21 per cent of the capital budget released for 2017, as against N56.27bn they got for 2016.

The statement added that other sectors combined received a total of N485.73bn, which was 30.74 per cent of the 2017 capital release.

In 2016, it said a total of N463.23bn was disbursed to these sectors.

Adeosun noted that despite the economic challenges experienced in 2017, the Federal Government was able to fully cash-back the capital releases.

She explained that the sustained high allocation to key sectors was a reflection of the Federal Government’s commitment to infrastructure development in the country.

The finance minister added that the Federal Government was working assiduously to attract private capital to complement its spending in the key areas.