FCT Minister Seeks Approval to spend N61.6 Billion
In a bid to accommodate additional inflows from various sources, Mr Nyesom Wike, the FCT Minister Seeks Approval to spend N61.6 Billion on 2023 Supplementary Budget.
Appearing before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on FCT at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, Wike disclosed that the supplementary budget would cater to receipts from diverse channels, including the Paris Club Refund, PAYE Tax Liabilities, Special Intervention Funds, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and the Infrastructure Support Fund. This would revise the initial budget from N579.7 billion to N641.3 billion for the 2023 financial year.
Highlighting the intended utilization of the funds, the minister emphasized their allocation towards the completion of critical infrastructure projects. He stated that the successful execution of these projects would significantly enhance transportation systems, create employment opportunities, and positively impact citizens’ lives.
“To ensure the completion of prioritized projects and programs, I have devised a funding plan that ensures contractors receive monthly payments following mobilization fees. Remaining balances will be settled through the issuance of Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders (ISPO) against the FCT Administration’s IGR,” Wike explained.
However, he lamented that some of the identified priority projects lacked sufficient provisions or were not included in the FCT’s 2023 Statutory Appropriation.
Providing a breakdown of the supplementary budget, Wike specified allocations such as N25.8 billion from the Paris Club Refund, N14.3 billion as refund for Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System/PAYE tax liabilities, N5 billion as a special intervention fund, N9.4 billion from IGR, and N7 billion from the infrastructure support fund, summing up to N61.6 billion.
He detailed key priority projects encompassing road resurfacing, completion of road networks in the Central Area, development of arterial roads, rehabilitation and expansion of expressways, construction of various centers and towers, and provision of mass transit buses among others.
The minister assured the completion of these projects before May 29, 2024, highlighting their inauguration as part of President Bola Tinubu’s one-year deliverables in office.
In response, the Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Mr Muktar Betara, commended Wike’s commitment to developing the territory but urged reconsideration of uniform fees for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, emphasizing variations based on geographical locations.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Mr Ibrahim Bomai, praised the minister’s efforts in prioritizing ongoing projects while advocating for comprehensive provisions in the 2024 budget regarding security, education, and healthcare.