Reps okay N260b budget for FCT

By The Rainbow

THE House of Representatives, on Thursday, approved the sum of N259,649,520,705 for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) as its 2013 budget.

The bill was unanimously adopted after a debate at the Committee of Supply level, chaired by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.

The amount is in addition to the N253billion approved by the National Assembly last December as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) expenditure portfolio in this year's national budget.

The lawmakers, however, raised reservation on some items in the appropriation, at a session chaired by the Speaker, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal.

Before the House dissolved into the committee of supply, where the FCT 2013 appropriation bill was considered clause by clause, the deputy chairman, House Committee on FCT, Honourable Raphael Nnana Igbokwe, had moved that the bill be considered.

Igbokwe had moved that the House should consider the report of the committees on Federal Capital Territory, Federal Capital Territory Area Councils and Ancillary Matters, and Finance on a bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the FCTA statutory revenue fund of the FCTA account, the total sum od N259,649,520,705 of which sum of N48,600,837,245 was for the personnel cost and N50,581,234,058 for overhead cost.

According to him, 'the balance of N160,467,449,402 is for capital projects for the service of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for the financial year commencing from January 1 and ending on December 31, 2013 and approve the recommendations therein.'

Item 18 on the capital expenditure, which had to do with engineering services, where the sum of N52,939,150,000 was allocated, generated heated arguments from the lawmakers, but they eventually concurred that the item should be passed during consideration clause by clause.

Igbokwue (PDP, Imo), who led the debate on the Bill, said the committee took its time to examine every aspect of the bill after it scaled the second reading in April.

The capital component of the budget gulped 60 per cent, which amounts to N160,467,449,402.

Igbokwue also informed the House that 18.5 per cent and 21.5 per cent of the budget were allocated to Personnel and Overhead costs.

He also addressed the concerns of the lawmakers on the N522million allocated to the FCT Urban Affairs, N4.3 billion for Public Buildings as well as N52.9 billion for Engineering, explaining that care was takenĀ  at the committee level to block leakage of funds.