Senate rejects controversial First Ladies 'mission house' fund

By The Citizen

The Senate on Wednesday rejected the appropriation of the sum of N4 billion for the building of First Ladies Mission House in Africa.

This is contained in the summary report of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 2013 budget which was approved by the upper chamber.

The controversial figure was part of the proposed budgetary estimates submitted by the FCT to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

Most Nigerians mounted sustained pressure urging the lawmakers not to approve the sum having seen it as a waste of scarce resources.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, noted in the report of his committee that 'it is worthy of note that the proposed appropriation for the construction of building for First Ladies Mission in Africa has been distributed to meet pressing needs in the area of engineering and satellite towns.'

Adeyemi added that 'due to litigation in respect of the proposed plot of land, the money cannot be accessed this year.'

He noted that it is not proper for the Senate to appropriate for a land that is not available.

The Senate approved the sum of N259, 649,520,705 as the 2013 budget for the FCT.

The breakdown of the FCT budget shows that personnel cost amounted to N48.6billion while the overhead was put at N50.5billion, amounting to total recurrent expenditure of N99.182billion.

The amount represented 38.2 per cent of the total budget.

The capital expenditure was put at N160.4billion or 61.8 per cent of the total sum.

The committee also slated the sum of N48, 716,036 as surplus budget.