Local News

FCTA May Run 2022/2023 Budget Concurrently

Following the delay in the presentation of the 2022 budget for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the National Assembly (NASS) may combine and pass the 2022 and 2023 budgets estimated at N1.3 trillion for the FCTA.

Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi who dropped the hint while responding to questions from journalists during an oversight function in Abuja, said the National Assembly was considering the possibility of allowing the FCTA run the two fiscal budgets concurrently to facilitate speedy execution of ongoing priority projects in the territory.

He said the Senate may extend the 2022 budget by six months and allow it to run concurrently with the 2023 budget when passed.

The Senate had on October 12, 2022, passed for second reading the N607.962 billion FCT budget after several objections over delay of presentation.

Senator Adeyemi gave the assurance that the 2022 budget of the FCT would be passed when the National Assembly resumes from recess in two weeks time.

He explained that despite the delay in the presentation of the budget, governance of the territory was not put on hold, as the peculiarities of the FCT allows the FCT Minister to access up to 50 per cent of the budget pending approval by the Senate.

His words: “The National Assembly is thinking of the possibility of extending the budget for three months or allow it run concurrently with the 2023 budget; then we will be having over a trillion naira budget for both years.

“Let’s not forget that even before we passed the budget, the minister can spend up to 50 per cent of the provision. So, it’s not as if they cannot spend money but the fact is that they cannot spend beyond that limit.

“What we are doing now is to make sure that when we resume, we pass the budget and when we do, we come with a motion of the budget running concurrently.

So my thinking is let us look at the possibility of allowing the budget to run concurrently and discuss with the honorable minister of the FCT. Let’s allow the budget to run concurrently even for three or six months.”

While inspecting facilities at the Nyanya General Hospital, the committee chairman called for the expansion of the hospital to enable it cater for the over 11,000 patients that visit the facility every month.

Permanent Secretary FCTA , Mr Olusade Adesola who appealed to the National Assembly to ensure adequate budgetary provision for the expansion, confirmed that the FCT is not restricted in spending.

“The visit is indeed a blessed one. He was here before and he is able to compare what the situation was with what it is today. We believe that such interaction will enable us achieve better service delivery to everyone.

“Not that FCT is restricted in spending. FCT is not restricted in spending but by the interplay of regulations and laws, we have to observe some moderation.” Adesola said.

The projects visited include schools and hospitals at the Nyanya and Asokoro districts.

Cov/ Remi Johnson. Edited By Grace Namiji

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