All NewsNews

Wike defends N61.55bn supplementary budget before N’Assembly

By Ben Adoga, Abuja

Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, yesterday defended a budget of N61, 553, 778, 259. 93 before the National Assembly.

Wike presented the FCT Supplementary Statutory Budget Proposal to both Senate Committees on FCT and the House of Representatives Committee on FCT at different times.

He said the budget was necessitated by the need to accommodate additional inflows comprising receipts from Paris Club Refund, Payee Tax Liabilities, Special Intervention Funds (Palliatives), ICT and Infrastructure Support Fund resulting in a revised total FCT 2023 Statutory Appropriation of the sum of N641,347,685,792.76 only.”

Wike stated, “To ensure the completion of the following priority projects and programmes. I plan to apply a funding fund plan that guarantees payments to the contractor on a monthly basis, following payment of mobilisation as applicable.

READ ALSO:Mbah meets Tinubu in Aso Rock, rates FG’s economic policies high on FDI


“Balances thereon to be paid through the insurance of Irrevocable Standing Payment Order against the IGR of the FCT. Unfortunately, provisions for some projects identified as priority areas are either insufficient or not provided for in the FCT 2023 Appropriation.”

*Vows to continue demolition of illegal structures

While answering questions, Wike told the lawmakers that demolition will not stop so long as illegalities continue.
He said there would be no compensation for illegalities.

“We can’t stop demolition if the people continue to build on illegal lands. We must be firm and fair if we must move the nation forward.

“I went on a visit and I saw shanties everywhere and I asked, is this the capital city? No, no, I asked the Development Control Department to go and bring it down, it’s not all decisions that everybody will be happy with. But we must remain firm.”

He also told the federal legislators that the FCTA incurred about 800 litigations with heavy costs on the Administration, warranting him to engage external solicitors, which of course would cost more.

He explained his decision to engage some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to handle cases involving the Administration, lamenting that the lack of diligent prosecution of cases in the past by FCT officials led to the loss of numerous cases.

“I have never seen a state with over 800 litigations. Some of these litigations were in connivance with staff of the FCT. So, I said I will engage SANs because I don’t want a situation whereby someone will go to court and then agree with the plaintiffs and judgment is entered against the FCT.”

The minister who said the budget components are projects-specific, added that President Bola Tinubu would commission most of them including the Abuja Metro line by May as part of activities marking the president’s one year in office.

He said, “Mr President will commission the metro line by May. If you look at the national budget, there is a provision for the rail project.”

On security, the minister said the Administration would revive the city’s mass transit system to eliminate cases of “one chance”, adding that private operators would undergo security vetting before being allowed into the system.

He said he was working with the Office of the National Security Adviser ONSA and the Department of State Services (DSS) with regards to providing Closed Circuit Television CCTV cameras in strategic parts of the city.

Wike also vowed to cancel some Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) entered into by the Administration with some private developers, saying those arrangements had been used to fleece the administration of billions in the past.

“I will cancel several PPPs. All the PPPs in Abuja are about land and are against the FCT”, he said.

He cited a case in Wassa where the Administration gave the developer land for mass housing, and gave him another N85bn for infrastructure, lamenting that the developer would go and build houses, and sell to people at market value without anything coming to the Administration. “We will cancel it”, he declared.

The minister also restated his position on the recertification of all certificates of occupancy.

“All C-of-Os will be recertified and you will put your NIN. In FCT, there are a lot of fake C-of-Os but with this new development, we will end that, and security-wise, we can know people who own each structure. If you have C-of-Os and you have enjoyed recertified, it will no longer be valid”, he stated.

Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Muktar Betara, who lauded the Minister for his passion for developing the territory, however, urged him to reconsider the uniform fees for obtaining a Certificate-of-Occupancy, saying highbrow areas like Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse, and others cannot have the same fees with the satellite towns.

Senate Committee chairman on FCT, Senator Ibrahim Bomai and Betara commended Wike for his courage to take on projects left behind by past administrations.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please turn off Adblocker or whitelist this website in your Adblocker to enable us display ads