From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) annual Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has hit N200 billion with a target to surpass that generated by Lagos State.
Its Minister, Muhammed Bello, said the feat was achieved through aggressive revenue drive in the FCT.
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He also said N1 billion (N500 million each) has been set aside to renovate the National Mosque and National Christian Centre to make them presentable tourists sites for visitors to the FCT.
This is as commercial motorcyclists, otherwise known as Okada, would now require licence to operate within the FCT and its suburbs.
Bello stated this, yesterday, as guest of the 40th Session of the State House Briefing, organised by Presidential Communication Team, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said FCT had come up with a robust database of over a million residents and that the bulk of funds deployed in the administration of the territory came from internally generated revenue, unlike in previous years when it came from the Federation Account.
“But the point I was just trying to say is that the bulk of our funding that we now use to run the Territory actually comes from our IGR. While in the formative years of the FCT, it used to be from federal allocation. But now, taking into account our budget for 2021, for instance, which was about N300 billion, you’ll find that the portion we got from the Federal Government was just about N50 billion. So you can find out that it’s not even up to 25 per cent. So really the bulk of what we use now to run the Territory comes from IGR. Going forward with our widening of the tax net, which I just mentioned to you and also our efforts in terms of improving online land retitling. These are all areas that are going to really beef up our IGR. And we have no option but to do that or else we really cannot be able to run the city and even to continue to build on infrastructure.”
Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Ahmad, while throwing more light on the planned renovations of the Christian centre and National Mosque said: “There were votes made for the renovation of these two places of worship as has been explained by the Honourable Minister, about N500 million was voted by the FCT administration and we got through the interface with the management of the National Mosque and the National Christians Centre to see how we can collaborate.”
Meanwhile, Directorate of the Road Transport Service of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, has said that commercial motorcyclists would now require license to operate within the FCT and its suburbs.
Its Director, Dr Bello Abdullateef, said aside traffic violations, the riders were also being used to deliver hard drugs across the city.
“The menace arising from many Okada riders is not just about traffic violations but also perpetration of crime. Okada is also used to deliver hard drugs across the city. It requires a multi sectoral approach to deal with the menace. We are introducing riders certification for those using okada for dispatch activities. Therefore, until you are verified by the directorate of road transport service you may not be able to ride a bike across Abuja. We are remodeling the licensing and regulations as well. These would be carried out to dissuade the use of Okada. Total ban has been suggested but it is still being considered.”
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