The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) might receive a substantial budget allocation of N1 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Chairman of the House Committee on the FCT, Muktar Betara Aliyu, hinted at this during the committee’s inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
Aliyu emphasized the necessity of such substantial funding to create a conducive environment for FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to implement his development agenda while in office.
He argued that with a meager budget allocation of N90 billion, there is little that the Minister can do to expedite the FCT’s development.
“In 2024, we are planning for a budget of N1 trillion or more for him to commence work. If it were up to us, we would increase the budget because we have a committed Minister eager to make a difference,” Aliyu stated.
He appealed to the committee to support Nyesom Wike in generating more revenue for the coming year, aiming to leave a lasting legacy for the 10th National Assembly.
The legislator commended the Minister’s efforts to boost revenue through ground rent payments, revoking undeveloped plots, and demolishing illegal structures, deeming these actions as positive steps.
“We appreciate your visionary leadership and the significant progress you’ve made in enhancing the living conditions of our residents through infrastructure development. The revival of the Abuja Light Rail Project will alleviate transportation challenges and improve accessibility for all,” Aliyu added.
He also praised the Minister for removing the FCT Administration from the Treasury Single Account, facilitating funding for ongoing and new projects. Additionally, the commitment to enforcing tenement charge collections was commended.
However, committee member Regina Akume cautioned the FCT Minister to be mindful of the hardship faced by Nigerians due to the removal of fuel subsidies when demolishing illegal structures. She recounted the plight of a widow with four children who suffered greatly when FCT authorities demolished her house.
Mark Obeta, another committee member, urged the FCT Minister to focus on developing satellite towns to alleviate congestion in the centre of Abuja.
The Minister expressed his appreciation for the support from lawmakers and called for the swift passage of bills related to establishing the school of nursing and midwifery, the outdoor advertising bill, the HIV/AIDS control agency, and the social health insurance, among other related matters.
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Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the FCT, Adesola Olusade, he explained that the construction of a 5-kilometre road in the area councils aims to decongest the city centre.
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