Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Tuesday (March 26, 2019) decried the yearly poor budget releases to the Ministry of FCT for the development of the nation’s capital and provision of basic amenities for its inhabitants.
Speaking during the budget defence by the ministry before the committee, its
Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye (PDP Kogi West) expressed the disappointment when the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello and top management staff of the ministry appeared for 2019 budget defence.
Melaye declared that the Federal Ministry of Finance by the West Africa Examinations Council, WAEC standard, scored F9 in budget releases to the FCT in 2018 by making only 31.9% releases from the N30.4billion approved.
He kicked against yearly drastic reduction in the capital component budgetary allocations to the Territory.
Capital component of FCT’s budget allocations according to him, has plummeted over the years from N109billion in 2008 to N30billion in 2019.
He said it was even worrisome that out of the N30.39 billion approved for capital projects in the 2017 budget of the territory , only N12.7billion was released which was about 40.1%.
The declining trend he added , worsened in 2018, when out of the N30.2billion approved as capital expenditure for the territory, only N9.6billion was released which is just 31.9%.
“This to us by WAEC ( West Africa Examination Council ) standard, is F9 and not acceptable.
“The trend if not reversed, is a recipe for failure as far as infrastructural development is concerned”, he said.
According to him, the way out of the yearly poor funding of the FCT budget is for government to prioritise its spending by getting more money for FCT to execute its capital projects, particularly at the various satellite towns.
In his own remarks, the FCT Minister, Bello said out of 33 projects proposed in the 2018 budget for execution only 15 are being executed even at very low percentage level due to paucity of fund.
“We are happy that the F9 given was not for us but the ministry of finance which has not been upcoming on expected releases due to shortfall in projected revenue generation”, he said.