By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has earmarked the sum of N45, 527, 118,338 (Forty five billion, five hundred and twenty-seven million, one hundred and eighteen thousand three hundred and thirty-eight Naira) for its 2021 National Priority Capital projects.
Making this disclosure yesterday, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, said the figure is contained in the 2021 Appropriation Bill presented by Mr President to the National Assembly on the 8th of October, 2020.
Bello, who spoke when he presented the FCT 2021 National Capital Budget to the Senate Committee on the FCT, at the National Assembly, said the allocation is to sustain the implementation of critical projects both in the Federal Capital City (FCC) and the Satellite Towns.
The Minister also presented a list of 28 proposed priority projects to be funded from this budgetary proposal which he said is intended for the completion of on-going projects.
According to the Minister: “In their selection, priority of attention was accorded to the completion of on-going projects. Accordingly, the entire projects in the 2021 budgets are for on-going projects”.
He added that some of the projects to be funded from this budget proposal amongst others include the construction of the Southern Parkway from the Christian Center to Ring Road One, Rehabilitation and Expansion of the Outer Northern Expressway Project Lot II (Kubwa Road from the Federal Civil Service College to the Villa Roundabout), Rehabilitation of and Expansion of the Airport Expressway (project Lot I) and the completion of the International Vocational Institute Utako and four comprehensive Science and Technical Colleges in Abaji, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Karshi.
He said others include provision of Engineering Infrastructure to Bwari Area Council, Rehabilitation of the National Assembly complex, design and construction of the Nigeria Cultural Center and Millennium Tower, and development of the Idu Industrial Area Engineering Infrastructure.
Furthermore, the Minister also disclosed that in the case of the millennium Tower project, the Administration was working on a number of hybrid financing options to complete the project which will include an appropriate dose of public/private partnership. This is to ensure the commencement of commercial activities at the national monument.
Speaking on the 2020 budget, the FCT Minister said its performance was impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
He revealed that the pandemic necessitated the downward review of the initial allocation of N62,407,154,360.00 to N29,657,154,360.00. Of this sum, he said that N15,000,000,000.00 representing 51% has so far been released.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari lamented the fact that the annual budgetary allocation to the FCT has declined over the years and said that his Committee, in discharging its duties will be transparent fair, courageous and always be guided by the dictates of the constitution and rules of parliamentary convention.
Our correspondent reports that on the entourage of the FCT Minister to the national assembly were the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, the Executive Secretary FCDA, Engr Umar Gambo Jibrin and other senior relevant staff of the FCTA