By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Administration (FCTA) has presented a National Priority Budget of N30,704,674.051 (Thirty Billion, Seven Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Seventy-Four Thousand and fifty one Kobo) to the Senate Committee on the FCT.
The presentation was made by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello when he led a delegation of senior FCTA officials to the National Assembly complex.
According to the Minister, the sum is based on the National Priority Budget Capital Envelop for the 2019 fiscal year for the FCT.
He revealed that a total of 30 projects which include provision of engineering infrastructure to several districts, payment of counterpart funds, construction of the Abuja rail mass Transit (LOT1B), Abuja Rail Mass transit (LOT 1and 3), completion of the International Technical and Vocational Institute, Utako.
Others are four comprehensive science and technical colleges in Abaji, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Karshi as well as the provision of primary infrastructure (road, water, sewage and power supply) to mass housing districts amongst others.
On the performance analysis of various projects under the 2018 FCT National Budget, the Minister revealed that while a total of N32, 298,122,862.00 was appropriated the sum of N9,689,436,861.77 was actually released adding that of the 33 priority projects listed for implementation, only 15 were executed up to various degrees.
He, however, attributed this to the non-release of funds to the FCTA, a situation which he said was not peculiar to the FCT alone.
While expressing dissatisfaction at the inadequate release of funds to the FCT, the Chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT, Senator Dino Melaye appealed to the Federal Government to treat the FCT as a national priority project and release adequate funds for the development of the Territory.
He said that Abuja city hosts the seat of the Federal Government along with about 90% of the embassies in the country and is the first port of call of all foreign dignitaries that visit Nigeria.
He said it would be a national embarrassment if facilities and utilities of the FCT are not functioning properly.
Melaye, however, commended the FCT Minister for his transparent approach to governance and prudent management of resources.