By Salisu Sani-Idris
Abuse – The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello said that the restriction placed on commercial tricycle operators to certain parts of the city was one of the most difficult decisions that the FCT administration had to make.
Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, in a statement on Sunday, said Bello disclosed this during the presentation of the FCT’s 2020 statutory budget to the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the FCT.
The minister said that the decision was imperative because commercial tricycles by law should not operate on the express and highways along with vehicles as they pose dangers to both passengers and riders.
According to Bello, most roads within the Federal Capital City, were expressways and thus could not accommodate the presence of the commercial tricycles and motorcycles.
He, however, said that the FCTA was not unmindful of the challenges commuters were facing as a result of the policy, adding that strategies were being put in place to improve on the public transportation situation in the FCT.
Bello said that the FCTA was working closely with the commercial tricycle association to explore the possibility of upgrading their operations to taxi cabs.
On the 2020 FCT statutory budget, the minister said the FCT was proposing to spend the sum of N232,875,365,947.
“This sum is made up of N53,876,241,095 (23.15 per cent) as personnel cost, N57,070,343,435 (24.50 per cent) as overhead costs and a proposed capital expenditure of N121,928,781,417 (52.35 per cent) as capital expenditure.
“The proposal also indicated reductions in personnel and overhead costs, with N53,876,241,095 proposed in the 2020 budget as against the N55,543,090,041 in 2019 for personnel and N57,070,343,435 as against N57,610,188,661 in 2019 for overhead.
“These figures represent a 2 per cent and 0.93 per cent decrease respectively.
“The sum of N121,928,781,417 was proposed for capital expenditure in the 2020 budget, of which N11,550,000,000 is dedicated to the completion of the light rail project and other counterpart funded related projects aimed at enhancing socioeconomic activities in the FCT.
“Of the amount also, the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA got N40,282,958,388, the Satelite Town Development Agency, STDA, got N33,702,830,000.
“While other Secretariats Departments and Agencies, SDAs, got N47,942,993,029 for their capital expenditure to address critical areas like ongoing road construction, water treatment plants and related facilities as well as a few new projects.”
Bello disclosed that the FCTA was proposing to spend the sum of N6,145,915,689 for the rehabilitation, expansion, extension and construction of six major roads which include the Outer Southern Expressway, Inner Southern Expressway among others.
He also revealed that the sum of N33.7 billion had been earmarked for the provision of infrastructure in the satellite towns while resettlement and compensation was expected to gulp the sum of N3.4 billion.
Similarly, Bello said the transportation sector was allocated the sum of N14,889,210,813 out of which N9 billion was earmarked for the Abuja Light Rail project including the rolling stock and provisions for other phases.
He also said the sum of N37,446,803,606 was allocated to the education sector, while the health sector had a proposed expenditure of N20,621,096,204.
According to him, the environmental sector has N7,231,908,304 allocated to it, while the water sector has N10,558,087,603 and agriculture has a total of N5,334,526,456.
The minister during the budget presentation informed members of the National Assembly that the FCT Statutory Budget was funded from 1 per cent of the 52.68 per cent Statutory Allocation of the Federal Government from the Federation Account.
Bello also said that the FCT budget was funded by the internally generated revenue and other sources as contained in the Revenue Fiscal Framework for the execution of recurrent and capital expenditure in the territory.
He commended the lawmakers for their support for FCTA and expressed hope that with their legislative and moral support, the challenges facing the FCT would be addressed.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, said the meeting was to deliberate with top management of the FCTA on the provisions in the FCT 2020 statutory appropriation bill and to assess the performance of the FCT 2019 statutory budget.
This, he said, would guide the committee in making provisions and for the quick passage of the 2020 budget.