Written by Austine ELEMUE

Sen. Melaye says FCT ‘minister incorruptible’

Senate committee chairman on FCT, Sen. Dino Melaye, has said that he is impressed with the 2017 budget performance of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, just as he declared the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, ‘incorruptible minister of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.’ 

The senator made the declaration during a budget defence session at the National Assembly, last week, also confessed that his committee has set ‘several traps for the minister but he scaled through all temptations.’ 

Melaye, who expressed delight at the remarkable improvement recorded in the budget performance for the 2017 fiscal year, which showed 62 percent level of accomplishment, also congratulated the FCT administration for the successful commissioning of the Abuja rail mass transit system. 

He used the occasion to harp on the necessity for honesty, prudence and transparency in the management of government resources.   

Earlier, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has proposed an expenditure framework of N271.532 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. 

The minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, who made the proposal in a budget session with the Senate Committee on FCT, also said that the figure showed an increase of N49.171 billion over the appropriation for 2017 which was at N222. 360 billion.   

During his presentation, the minister gave a breakdown of the sectoral allocations which showed priority being given to capital expenditure, which got N154.232 billion representing 56.8 percent of the estimate, overhead cost came second with N61 billion or 22.5 percent, while personnel was estimated to cost N56 billion representing 20.68 percent of the total.   

The increase, Bello indicated, is based on the expected higher revenue generation by the FCT in view of the take-off of the FCT Internal Revenue Service, IRS, and expected increased funds from the federation account.   Bello revealed that the administration would pay important attention to the completion of ongoing infrastructure projects to make the city more liveable, just as N70 billion has been earmarked for this purpose. 

In the same vein, N4.7 billion will go to on-going critical new infrastructure projects, while N21.1 billion is proposed for ongoing as well as new infrastructure projects in satellite towns. 

The amount of N37.96 billion has been set aside for the education sector while the health received a whopping N22.8 billion. 

Other major expenditure areas include resettlement and compensation – N8.9 billion and transportation - N20.5 billion.  

Of this amount, the Abuja light rail project would gulp N12.3 billion, while environment, water and agriculture sectors together have been allocated approximately N16.3 billion among others.   

The budget which has been described as a balanced budget would be funded from the 1 percent of the 52.68 percent statutory allocation to the federal government from the Federation Account, Internally Generated Revenue IGR, and other sources as contained in the fiscal framework of the federal government.  


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