OrderPaperToday– The National Assembly has passed the sum of N278,875,365,947 (two hundred and seventy eight billion, eight hundred and seventy five million, three hundred and sixty five thousand, nine hundred and forty seven naira) for the 2020 budget of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This figure reflects an increment of N45 billion from the proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari for approval on December 10 this year.
Presenting the report on Thursday, chairman of Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno) said the budget proposal was increased by over N45 billion; with N55,878,241,095 (fifty five billion, eight hundred and seventy eight million, two hundred and forty one thousand, ninety five naira for personnel costs; N62, 343,723,435 (sixty two billion, three hundred and forty three million, seven hundred and twenty three thousand, four hundred and thirty five) for overhead costs.
Others are N160,133, 401, 417 for capital expenditure and total recurrent expenditure of N118,221,964,530.
Contributing to the report, Sen. Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue) urged the committee to ensure strict oversight on the implementation of the capital expenditure of the FCT.
He said: “The committee on FCT should monitor the expenditure of the capital. There are areas within the town where there are no infrastructures like water and light.”
Suswam also tasked the FCT to carry out security checks in suburb areas of the nation’s capital.
“In suburban areas, if we don’t attend to the security there, those people will start closing into the city centre”, he said.
After the passage of the budget, the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, commended the Committee on FCT for “working day and night” to put the report together.
He directed them to be steadfast to ensure that what has been passed will be implemented.
“For the Senate to reconvene on a day which is not a sitting day shows the commitment and dedication to deal with any matter. This is to show that we are interested in issues that will make the life of Nigerians better”, Lawan said while praising his colleagues.
To the management of the FCT, the president of the Red Chamber urged them to “reclaim” the nation’s capital, particularly on security, such “that visitors and residents can go about their business in a secured environment.
“If we can’t provide security befitting for the FCT, the story outside will not be good for Nigerians”, he said.
The FCT minister was also commended for bringing the budget in time as against June in previous assemblies.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, after considering the report of the Committee on Customs, has approved the sum of N283.1 billion for its 2020 budget.
A break down of the budget shows N98billion (ninety eight billion) for personnel cost, N15.9billion (fifteen billion and nine hundred million) for overhead cost and N123.4billion (one hundred and twenty three billion, four hundred million) for capital expenditure.
The National Assembly thereafter proceeded on its annual Christmas break and is scheduled to resume on January 28, 2020.
Before the close of plenary, the lawmakers adopted the day’s votes and proceedings which includes the passage of the 2020 Federal Capital Territory budget.
• Majeed Bakare contributed to this report.