By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Federal Capital Territory said it will embark on oversight to ascertain the level of implementation of the 2021/2022 budget of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Senator Smart Adeyemi Hon. Blessing Onuh and Other Laemakers during Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on FCT, 2023 Budget Defence
Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi in his opening remark on the budget deliberation on FCT 2022 Statutory Appropriation Bill and the FCT component of the FGN 2023 National Appropriation Bill said the “Committee, through its oversight duty, will strongly support and complement the efforts of the Honourable Minister in the fight against corruption and any administrative abnormalies like misappropriation of funds or misapplication of the laws as the case may be.”
He said “We, as a Committee, have resolved to better the lot of all residents of the FCT by ensuring the full implementation of this Budget.
“In all advanced and most developing countries, citizens and organized private sector await annual budget release with nostalgia. This is so because the budget outlines government’s current fiscal policies. However, I urge all of us here present to maintain an unshakeable sense of optimism about Nigeria. We must together believe in our future.
“As men and women of great achievements and accomplishments in our respective fields of endeavour, it is my hope that the Federal Capital Territory under our leadership, shall experience fundamental development.
“We would ensure through our oversight duty that the beauty and status of the Federal Capital Territory is not only the pride of Nigeria, but that which every Blackman all over the world can be proud of.
“The Senate Committee on FCT hereby places Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) on notice for an oversight visit on Monday, 24th and Tuesday, 25th October, 2022. The full strength of the Press Corps shall be engaged.
“In discharging our duties, we shall be transparent, courageous, fair and will always be guided by our Constitution, Rules, and Parliamentary Conventions. We shall protect the rights of all Nigerians and be guided by the fear of God.”
Lawmakers also lamented on the non – existence of reliable transport system. They lamented that several persons have been killed due to non activities of criminals ‘one chance vehicle’
The legislators said on assumption of office about 7 years ago, the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello banned commercial busses from entering Abuja city but till date, no framework or transport scheme.
Bello said the comments and observations of the lawmakers are very germane and the FCTA under his leadership will do its best.
According to Bello, 2021 FCT is about,N300 billion while that of 2022 is N607 billion.
N13.5billion is for the 2023 fiscal year.
He said even from the N59billion allocated for it from the federal government in the 2022 fiscal year, only N19billion has been released till date
“The FCT budget has two components, One is yearly allocation from 1% of the federal government share of the federation account and the second one is internally generated revenue which has over the years been the main sustainance of governmental operations in FCT.
“In the N607.9billion 2022 budget of FCT , the federal allocation is just N59billion out of which only N19billion has been released.
“For the 2023 fiscal year, the projected federal allocation has been drastically slashed to N13.5billion despite increase in the number of planned projects from 20 in the 2022 fiscal year to 22 in the 2023 fiscal year” he stated.
He explained further to the committee members that out of the proposed N607.9billion 2022 budget, N76.6billion is for personnel cost, N138billion for overhead cost while the remaining balance of N393.2billion is for capital projects.
According to him, one of the critical projects the capital votes are to be used on, is the Greater Abuja Water Project, planned to provide portable water for 29 additional districts within the territory.
He said as a result of huge financial demands, the territory is now adopting integration of indigenes into newly opened districts as against resettlement policy that has been causing crisis over the years.