Minister mulls completion of ongoing projects in 2020 budget
Bello said a total of 13 projects, comprising 12 ongoing projects and one new project would be the focus of the budget, explaining that the new entrant was the rehabilitation of Federal Government building at the cost of N5billion.
The Minister stated at the weekend while presenting the budget proposal tagged, ‘’National Priority Budget ‘’ to Senate/House Committee on FCT in Abuja.
His words: “In view of the poor performance of the Federal Capital Territory portion of the 2019 national priority budget, the administration has therefore, decided to re-prioritize and roll over only essential ongoing projects without making provisions for new ones.”
While fielding questions from the lawmakers, the Minister who described the 2020 budget proposal as a budget of stability, explained that the focus on ongoing road projects within the Federal Capital City and satellite towns was deliberate and a measure to forestall any traffic gridlock in the nearest future.
“If we don’t build all the link roads and interchanges now to accommodate traffic spills, it will come back to haunt us in the next two years or so because the city is ever-expanding”.
He commended members of the committee for their passion for the FCT as evident in their comments and contributions toward the growth and development of the FCT.
Bello noted that the ongoing projects highlighted in the budget proposal were awarded some years ago to address the infrastructural demands of the FCT but over the years the FCT administration had accumulated huge liabilities in order to roll out the projects.
In their remarks, members of the Senate Committee on the FCT said that that there is an urgent need to substantially increase the funding of the FCT because of its strategic position and roles as the nation’s capital.
It was the consensus amongst the Senators that the sum of 28 billion Naira National Priority budget of the FCT was the equivalent of $78 million, which, it was admitted, was inadequate considering the critical infrastructural needs of the territory.
Senator Phillip Aduda, Senator representing the FCT, said that there was an urgent need for the funds released to the FCT to be substantially increased, the FCT Administration is also obliged to shore up its internally generated revenue.
Also, Senator Rochas Okorocha on his part advised the FCT to look inwards and exploit several possible options including land-for-infrastructure programmes to raise the required capital to bridge the infrastructural deficit.
Senator Tanko Almakura on his part described the budget as very focused and commended the FCT Administration for identifying areas of priorities. He, however, sought for greater collaboration with states neighboring the FCT.
The FCTA team at the budget presentation also included the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Chief of Staff to the Minister, Mallam Bashir Mai Borno, the Director Treasury, Alhaji Ishiaku Ismail, Director Engineering Services, Shehu Ahmed and other top management staff.
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