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Senate Passes N271bn FCT 2014 Budget Proposal
The Senate yesterday passed the sum of N271 billion as the budget of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT for the 2014 fiscal year just as it called for faster development of the territory by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The passage followed the consideration of the report of the Senate FCT Committee on the FCT Appropriation Bill 2014.
Presenting the report, the Vice Chairman, Senate FCT Committee, Sen. Domingo Obende said the budget proposal was geared to boost development of the FCT for the benefit of the residents.
Out of the total budget passed, the sum of N161, 804,111,031 was earmarked for capital expenditure and N109,238,434,881 for recurrent expenditure.
A breakdown of the recurrent component shows that the sum of N60,03,490,023 billion is for estimated overhead costs while N49,200,944,858 is for personnel costs.
According to the report of the Senate Committee on FCT, which did the final legislative work on the proposal, the capital provision will take care of capital projects for the service of the FCT. which include: expansion and rehabilitation of Airport and Kubwa Expressways and the provision of infrastructure to on-going districts such as Jahi, Wuye, Maitama Extension and Abuja North-West.
The capital component of the project also made provision for the opening of new districts in the FCT such as Kyami, Mbora and others. To this effect, the sum of two billion naira was earmarked for construction and completion of various engineering infrastructure projects in the satellite towns of the territory.
Also, the sum of six billion naira was allocated for security administration of the nation’s political capital in 2014. The decision of the Senate to give priority attention to security was informed by the increasing security challenges in the FCT, especially with the recent bomb attacks that took place at the city centre and some suburbs of the territory.
For the health sector, the Senate approved the sum of sixteen billion for the 2014 budget.He noted that the health facilities in Abuja were being overstretched by the population explosion being witnessed in the territory recently, especially with the recent bomb blasts in Nyanya and EMAB plaza in Wuse ii of the FCT that induced congestion in the various hospitals in Abuja.
Other highlights of the approved budget proposal, include N5billion earmarked for Education, N3billion for Agriculture and N4billion for rural development.
However, Senate President President, David Mark said the rate of development in FCT ought to be faster than it is presently and urged the authorities concerned to make judicious use of the passed budgetary provisions when cash backed by the executive arm of government for the needed level of development in the Federal Capital Territory.
He said :Again this budget is coming in rather late. I hope that the FCT will implement this budget.
“I hope that the FCT Committee will carry out effectively supervise implementation of this budget.
“What all of us would want is to see a model Capital City. So no amount of development is either too fast or too much for Abuja.
The Senate also approved the sum of N322.6 billion as 2014 appropriation for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
The chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Sen. James Manager said the 2014 budget of the NDDC was based on a revenue projection of N322.6 billion out of which N295.051billion is for development projects.
The total recurrent expenditure for 2014 is estimated at N25.268 billion representing 7.83 per cent of the total revenue of N322.6 billion while non-project capital expenditure is N2.28 billion.
In 2013, development projects were allocated N286.45 billion, while the total recurrent expenditure was N26.97 billion.
Also the 2014 appropriation for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) were approved by the Senate.
A total sum of N52.5 billion was passed as NCC budget for 2014 and N14.5 billion was approved for the (USPF) as their 2014 appropriation.