Open Up FCT for Development – Okorocha, tells FCT Minister
BY OBUTE JAMES
The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Abuja led by Senator Abubakar Kyari has expressed its displeasure over the non implementation of capital projects in the capital city as captured by the 2019 Appropriation Act.
The committee called on the leadership of FCT and relevant stakeholders to expedite actions in order to return and sustain the glory of the nation’s capital city.
FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello in his presentation when he appeared before the committee on Thursday 17th October told the lawmakers that N23 billion was budgeted for capital projects in the 2019 budget but as at 17th October, 2019, the implementation is still at 0％ as no money has been released in respect of the projects.
Senator Kyari, representative of Borno North Senatorial District in the Senate called on Bello to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance in order to get the fund appropriated for capital projects in 2019 for FCT is released.
Earlier in his remark, Kyari said “better scrutiny makes better government,” hence the need for deliberation with the minister and officials of FCT Administration on the 2020 national appropriation bill as well as to evaluate the performance of 2019 budget.
Kyari said “budgeting is an integral component of constitutional democracy. Apart from promoting transparency and accountability in public fund management, budgeting also is a fiscal instrument for self-assessment.”
He said his committee will work against corruption and other administrative abnormalities like misappropriation and misapplication of fund.
According to him, the Senate Committee on FCT under his leadership has resolved to do everything possible that will improve on the standard of living of FCT residents.
He said “besides being responsible for the making of laws and anticipating issues of public concerns, the legislators are also responsible for securing accountability of the executive arm of government.
“We would ensure through our oversight duty, that the beauty and status of the Federal Capital Territory is not only the pride of Nigeria, but that which all black men all over the world can be proud of,” he said.
Kyari also appealed to FCT Minister, Bello to look into the traffic congestion within the city and get solution as quick as possible.
The committee also urged the FCT leadership to collaborate with the neighbouring state government in order to address the infrastructural challenges in the neighbouring cities like, Suleja, Niger State and Mararaba in Nasarawa state. According to the committee, a good number of people who work in FCT, Abuja, reside in those neighbouring cities.
In his contribution, former governor of Imo State who is also a member of the committee, Owelle Rochas Okorocha told FCT Minister to open up FCT, Abuja for proper development as being ‘anti-corruption personified’ alone cannot bring about the desired growth and development.
Okorocha said while others are advocating for increase in allocation for the FCT, he may not go on that direction because of several challenges facing the nation including security problem.
He said when FCT, Abuja is opened up for proper and genuine business most of the critical challenges of the city will be addressed. He also advocates for law that will lead to the continuity of projects irrespective of party and persons in power.
The Minister of State for FCT, Abuja, Dr. Tijjani Aliyu and other top officials of the ministry accompanied Bello to the National Assembly.