By Naomi Sharang
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) N607.9 billion 2022 statutory budget on Wednesday scaled second reading at the Senate.
This followed the presentation of the lead debate by Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir at plenary.
Gobir said that the 2022 FCT budget sought to authorise the issue from the Federal Capital Territory Administration Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Account, the total sum of N607 billion.
He said that N76 billion out of the amount was for personnel cost, while N138 billion was for overhead cost.
While the balance of N393 billion is for capital project for the service of the FCT, Abuja, for the financial year commencing from Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2022.
The senate leader said that the fundamental thrust of the FCT 2022 budget was to ensure an effective and enduring service oriented administration for the completion of ongoing projects and the provision of effective services to the residents of the FCT.
He said that an appraisal of the 2021 FCT statutory budget indicated that in the 2021, the FCT Administration received an appropriation of N329 billion.
During the year 2021, a total sum of N74 billion was spent on personnel cost, representing 100 per cent.
The sum of N52, 737, 251, 744. 00 was expended on overhead cost, representing 79 per cent, while the sum of N72, 730, 869, 849.00 was expended on capital projects, representing 39 per cent.
Gobir said that the FCT was created in 1976 as one of the major achievements of the Military Government.
Worthy of note is that the FCT was originally planned for about 3.1 million people.
The rapid urban growth coupled with the slow pace of development of infrastructure for the teeming population has led to scarcity of infrastructures.
He said that Abuja was too far behind in terms of achieving the developmental target envisaged.
Only 20 per cent of the target has been achieved due to scarce resources often made available to the administration over the years.
He said that the FCT required a minimum of N1 trillion to resuscitate and complete abandoned and on-going projects within the districts that had so far been developed or partially developed.
Contributing, The Chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT Sen. Smart Adeyemi acknowledged that the budget was far too low.
This is a budget that is coming some months far behind time. But notwithstanding, effort is made to ensure that those areas that require attention of government which will help to improve the security of life and property of Abuja residents is executed within the available time.
We will ensure the 2023 budget is ready before the end of this month, he said.
Sen. James Manager (PDP-Delta) expressed displeasure over the lateness in presentation of the budget.
How long will they execute these projects and when will they stop. This is October, he said.
Also, Minority Leader, Philip Aduda said that it was unfortunate that the budget was coming late.
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said that it was unfortunate and unacceptable.
We have worked so hard to change the budget cycle of the Federal Government. And here we have a state we are receiving the budget of the FCT for 2022 in October.
This is unacceptable. We are only considering this because innocent FCT residents will suffer. Otherwise we shouldnt pass this.
If they dont bring it next week, they should keep it themselves, he said.(NAN)
Source: NAN News