Senate laments slow pace of infrastructural dev. in FCT


Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Abuja, Senator Abubakar Kyari

By Editor

The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has called for sincere and serious efforts to develop Abuja, the nation capital.

The appeal was made when the Minister of FCT, Hon. Mohammed Bello appeared before the Senate Committee on FCT to defend the 2021 budget proposal.

Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Abuja, Senator Abubakar Kyari who tasked the minister and staff of FCT Administration on effective utilization of material and human resources, however expressed dismay over the dwindling fund of the FCTA.
“My Dear Colleagues, Honourable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is worthy of note that since 2008 to-date, the trend of Appropriation of FCT National Priority Budget displayed a high rate of decline; it has been shrinking alarmingly over the years.

“It decreased sharply from N109 billion in 2008 to N45 billion in 2021. In the same vein, accessing the funds from the approved budget has become an herculean task.

“Budget performance has drastically declined over time. The Committee noted that in 2017, out of the N30,397,122,872 Appropriated to FCT Administration, only N12,198,561,435:40 (40.1%) was accessed; in 2018, out of N30,297,122,872 only N9,689,436,861:60 (31.9%) was accessed; in 2019 out of N23,023,593,145.00 only N8,076,112,085.60 (35%) was accessed; Also in 2020, out of N29,657,154,360.00 only N15,000,000,000 (50.58%) was accessed,” Senator Kyari said.

“Distinguished Senators, Ladies and Gentlemen, FCT Administration should be more proactive in prosecuting their funds from the Ministry of Finance.

“In discharging our duties, we shall be transparent, courageous, fair and will always be guided by our Constitution, Rules and Parliamentary Convention. This will be our focus and drive to support or complement the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against corruption.”

Parts of Senator Abubakar Kyari’s remarks read below:
“It is indeed with deep sense of honour and privilege that I welcome you to the 2021 FCT National Priority Budget deliberation, and a very critical Budget Performance session with the FCT Area Council Chairmen.

“On behalf of all Members of this Committee, I am delighted to express our profound appreciation to the Honourable Minister of FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello and the Honourable Minister of State for FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu for appearing before this important Committee to deliberate and present the FCT components of the National Budget Proposal.

“Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, may I at this juncture formally welcome the newly appointed Permanent Secretary of FCT Mr. Adesola Olusade to this meeting. We pray that you will deploy your barrage of experience overtime to successfully move FCT towards actualizing the dreams and aspirations of our founding fathers.

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to state that in Parliamentary Democracies, the Legislators, besides being responsible for the making of laws and anticipating issues of public concern, are also responsible for securing accountability of the Executive. It is said that ‘’better scrutiny makes better Government’’.

“My Dear colleagues, Honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it is worthy of note that year 2020 has been greeted with a rude shock of corona virus / Covid-19, which has accelerated and transformed into a pandemic and was declared a world-wide emergency.

“The first confirmed case in Nigeria was announced on 27th February, 2020. Confirmed cases have since then risen to over 63,000 with over 2,000 active cases and over 1,000 deaths. The pandemic has had a serious economic impact in African countries, damaging the continent’s growing middle class and threatening to increase the rate of poverty and extreme poverty. Labour, a key factor of production, has been quarantined in most sectors of the economy, borders have been closed and global value chain has been disrupted. The total lost in terms of human lives is yet to unfold. Sadly, the world is yet to produce pharmaceutical treatment for the corona virus disease.

“Today’s meeting is scheduled basically to deliberate with the Honourable Minister of FCT and all relevant officials of the FCT Administration on the provisions in the FCT component of the 2021 National Appropriation Bill, and to also evaluate the performance of the 2020 FCT National Budget which will guide both the FCTA/FCDA and the Committee in making provisions for the 2021 National Priority Budget.

“This meeting is not just like other meetings, but it’s a Constitutional fulfilment towards the passage of the 2021 National Appropriation Bill into law. Therefore, the Committee demands utmost cooperation from FCTA officials.”

Kyari also paid tribute to his departed colleagues and members of Senate committee on FCTA, Senator Rose Okoji Oko and Senator Adebayo Osinowo.

“Honourable Ministers, ladies and Gentlemen, the Committee and the entire Senate received with shock, the transition of two of our Distinguished members and colleagues; Senator Rose Okoji Oko (63) and Senator Adebayo Osinowo (64) on 23rd March, 2020 and 15th June, 2020 respectively during the lock-down.

“It dawned on us that truly man is just a mere mortal, tossed and eclipsed by a very common but abstract variable call death. May God comfort their families, constituencies and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Senator Rose Oko was from Cross River North Senatorial District and Senator Adebayo Osinowo was from Lagos East Senatorial District,” he said.

A minute silence was observed in honour of the departed senators.

The FCTA Minister, Mohammed Bello presented on his part presented N45,527,118,338.00 as the FCT national priority capital budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

The allocation according to the minister is to sustain the implementation of critical projects both in the FCC and the satellite towns.

Meanwhile, Senator Kyari called on the FCT Administration to present its statuary allocation before the Senate before or on 24th November 2020 in order to meet up with January to December budget circle.


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