The Minister of The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has asked the National Assembly to approve the N17 billion appropriated for FCT Administration in the N27.5 trillion 2024 proposed budget.
Wike made the appeal when he appeared before the joint session of the Senate and House Committees on FCT, in Abuja on Friday, December 15.
He explained that N17.1 billion was allocated to the FCT Administration, adding that the amount was allocated to complete abandoned projects to sustain the implementation of critical projects.
The minister said of the amount, N5 billion was allocated as a counterpart fund for the Greater Abuja Water Supply projects and N4.5 billion for the design and construction of the Nigeria Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower.
He also said N3 billion was allocated for the rehabilitation of the Federal Secretariat, while N4 billion was allocated for the completion of the Vice President’s Residence.
Wike added that N609.7 million was for the settlement of residential and office accommodation for international organisations in FCT.
“The money is just N17.1 billion, so what can I say other than to say, please help us pass it,” the minister said.
On the performance of the 2023 budget, Wike said a total of N15.5 billion was appropriated for infrastructural development, adding however, that only N8 billion was released representing 52 percent.
Responding, the chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Ibrahim Bomai, acknowledged that all the projects were ongoing ones, adding that the funds would not be enough to complete the projects.
He pointed out that the FCT operates a dual budget – the national budget and the statutory budget and expressed hope that the statutory budget might be in the hundreds of billions.
The minister appealed to the members of the joint session to give no objection considering the meagre amount.
Bomai said: “If you have no objection, we will ask the minister to take a bow and go.”