By: Wisdom Acka
FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, Wednesday, defended N61,553,778,259.93 billion 2023 FCT supplementary budget before Senate and the House of Representatives Committees On FCT.
During his separate presentations before the committees, Wike told members of the committees that the amount was required to complete projects that would have direct impact on FCT residents in the first one year of President Bola Tinubu in office.
According to him, the budget would be sourced from Paris Club Refund, Payee Tax Liabilities, Special Intervention Funds (palliatives), Internally Generated Revenue and the Infrastructure support fund.
Giving the breakdown, the Minister revealed that Paris Club Refund supplementary revenue stood at N25,790.082,458, Refund of IPPIS/PAYE N14,320,372,647.53, Special Intervention Fund (palliative) N5,000,000,000.00, IGR N9,443,323, 154.00 and Infrastructure support fund N7,000,000,000.00.
He disclosed that top on the list of the projects will include the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, provision of mass transit buses/rehabilitation of existing and serviceable and expansion of roads.
Others include rehabilitations of National Christian Centre and National Mosque in Abuja and, among others.
The Minister explained that the mass transit buses will be launched in December to help address challenges of transportation that pave way for one-chance operations.
Wike said most of the strategic projects awarded for years were abandoned due to lack of funding, which he said his administration would not tolerate.
He explained: “The projects were awarded before I became the Minister but I will ensure that they are completed. Projects of national impact cannot be abandoned.”
“Vice President’s residential house was awarded in 2010 at the cost of seven billion but was abandoned, with millennium towers at the cost of nine billion also abandoned.I have visited the project areas and check the situation of things and have directed work to resume,” he said.
Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Hon. Muktar Betara, who lauded the Minister for his passion to develop the Territory, however, urged him to reconsider the uniform fees for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy; saying highbrow areas like Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse and others cannot have the same fees with the Satellite Towns.