The Senate on Thursday committed to the committee stage the N174,068,999,970 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation Bill for the 2015 fiscal year. Of the total figure, N46.034 billion has been allocated as personnel cost; N28.589 billion is for overhead cost while N99.444 billion is for capital expenditure. The Senate Committee on FCT, which had been mandated to legislate on the bill is expected to return the budget to the plenary on Tuesday next week for final passage. Leading debate on the bill, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, observed that the N174.068 billion budget for FCT this Year 2015 was less than N271.042 billion spent in 2014. The figure, he said, represented 35 per cent reduction from 2015 budget.

The reduction, he added, was caused by the global fall in oil price bearing in mind that FCT derives its revenue mainly from federal government’s statutory allocation. He also blamed the trend on the fall in foreign exchange rate.

According to him, the budget will ensure an effective service provision that will consolidate on the gains of FCT administration over the years
His words: “The sum of N174,068,999,970 only is proposed as the expenditure for 2015.Out of this sum, N46,034,684,503 is for personnel cost; the sum of N28,589,912,096 is for overhead cost and the sum of N99,444,403,371 is for capital expenditure.  “Out of the 2015 total proposal, the sum of N27,850,000,000 is dedicated to projects on rail, other counterpart fund related projects and other important projects like the ongoing road construction and water treatment plant.
“Some new projects were considered in the 2015 budget proposal with the provision of N50,000,000,000 for the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). Of the sum, N10,000,000,000 has been allocated to Satellite Towns Development Department while the sum of N11,594,403,371 was proposed for other secretariats, departments and agencies as capital expenditure.”

He then proceeded to list some of the crucial projects to be executed by the FCDA in 2015.
According to him, such projects would include the expansion and rehabilitation of outer northern express way (ONEX) as well as the airport expressway which he said would both gulp N7. 650 billion. Ndoma-Egba explained that the expansion and rehabilitation of these roads when completed, would end the traffic congestion being experienced by commuters and also drastically reduce travel time. He added: “The sum of N12,000,000,000 is proposed for the provision of infrastructural facilities to Jahi, Wuye, Maitama extension, Abuja North-west and Katampe districts while the sum of N9,450,000,000 is earmarked for the completion and construction of some vital roads in the city.

While the sum of N2,000,000,000 is proposed for the lower Usman Dam, Gurara Road.

“The sum of N3,100,000,000 is proposed for the provision of public buildings which include construction of Banquet Hall within the Presidential Villa, rehabilitation of ECOWAS Parliament building and rehabilitation of United Nations building.

“The sum of N2,385,000,000 is being proposed for the construction of resettlement houses and payment of compensation in the 2015 fiscal year.”
Furthermore, Ndoma-Egba explained that in view of the dwindling statutory revenue allocation for FCT, emphasis had been placed on the completion of ongoing projects especially those that would enhance provision of services and infrastructure for residents of FCT.