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Wike seeks National Assembly’s approval to spend N61.6bn

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Wike seeks National Assembly’s approval to spend N61.6bn

From L-R: The Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Adesola Olusade; FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, and the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Mr Shehu Ahmad, during the House of Representatives Committee on FCT’s hearing on the N61 billion 2023 supplementary statutory budget for FCT in Abuja on Wednesday.

Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga

By Philip Yatai

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday sought approval of the National Assembly to spend N61.6 billion 2023 supplementary budget.

Wike made the appeal when he appeared before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on FCT at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

He said that the supplementary budget was to accommodate additional inflows comprising receipts from Paris Club Refund, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Tax Liabilities, and Special Intervention Funds.

Other sources are Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and the Infrastructure Support Fund, leading to a revised budget of N641.3 billion as against the N579.7 billion earlier budgeted for 2023 financial year.

He explained that the funds, if approved, would be channeled towards completion of priority projects in the infrastructure sector.

The minister added that the projects, if completed, would improve ease of transportation, provide gainful employment for the citizenry, and achieve positive impact on the citizens in general.

“In order to complete prioritised projects and programmes, I planned to apply a funding plan that guarantees payments to the contractors on a monthly basis, following payment of mobilisation as applicable.

“Balances thereon, are to be paid through the issuance of Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) against the IGR of the FCT Administration.

“Unfortunately, provisions for some of the projects identified as priority are either insufficient or not provided in the FCT 2023 Statutory Appropriation,” he said.

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Giving breakdown of the supplementary budget, the minister said that N25.8 billion was from Paris Club Refund, and N14.3 billion as refund of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System/PAYE tax liabilities.

Others are N5 billion as special intervention fund, N9.4 billion IGR and N7 billion from infrastructure support fund, amounting to N61.6 billion.

He identified some of the priority projects, such as the resurfacing of existing roads and remedial work Phase I and II, and completion of road B6, B12 and Circle Road in Abuja Central Area.

Other projects are full scope development of arterial road from Northern Parkway to Outer Northern Expressway and construction of Southern Parkway from Christian Centre to Ring Road I.

The funds would also go into the rehabilitation and expansion of Outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to Osex/Ring Road I Junction, including four interchange and provision of access road to Kabusa Garden Estate.

Other projects to benefit from the supplementary budget include the completion of the Vice President’s residence awarded since 2010, but abandoned due to lack of funds, and construction of cultural centre and millennium tower.

Also included is the rehabilitation of National Christian Centre and National Mosque, and provision of mass transit buses and rehabilitation of existing and serviceable vehicles, among others.

The minister said that the projects would be completed before May 29, 2024, and would be inaugurated among the deliverables of President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office.

 

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