Senate passes N329.96bn FCT budget, expects supplementary appropriation

The Senate adopted a statutory budget for the Federal Capital Territory for the year 2021 on Tuesday, totaling N329.96 billion.

Following consideration of the Committee on Federal Capital Territory’s report on the FCT Appropriation Bill, 2021, the bill was passed.

Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), the Committee’s Chairman, said that of the estimated revenue of N329,96 billion, N74.32 billion is for staff costs, N58.73 billion is for overheads, and N196.91 billion is for capital projects.

As of December 31, 2020, the overall performance of the FCT 2020 Statutory Budget Allocation was 88 percent, he said.

Kyari further disclosed that most of the projects executed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Federal Capital Development Administration were still ongoing ‘due to overbearing ineptitude of getting the Due Process Certificates on time’.

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He observed that new and ongoing projects were not sufficiently funded due to delay in the release of funds, occasioned by bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The lawmaker added that projected revenue accruing to the FCT Administration was stretched by N30bn due to additional revenue derived from statutory allocation received from the differential distributed from the Excess Crude Account for receipts from January to May, 2021, and expected receipts for the remaining seven months of the year; and Stamp Duty Refunds.

According to him, the Committee on FCT consequently increased the fiscal framework to accommodate revenue receipts from additional statutory allocation and stamp duty fees to bring the total expenditure to N329.96bn.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday directed its Committee on Appropriations to unfailingly submit report on the N895bn supplementary budget on Wednesday (today).

Lawan forwarded supplementary appropriation to the panel for the required legislative inputs on Wednesday last week.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had in a letter read on the floor of the Senate last week Tuesday by Lawan requested for expeditious consideration and passage of the supplementary budget.

The Senate accordingly on Wednesday last week debated the provisions of the supplementary budget proposals and passed it for second reading by mandating its Committee on Appropriations to interface with relevant government agencies on details of the provisions and report back Tuesday.

But at the Tuesday plenary when the report was expected to be laid, the Chairman of Appropriations Committee, Senator Jibrin Barau (APC Kano North), sought for a week’s grace which was rejected by Lawan.

The House of Representatives has also scheduled the second reading of the 2021 Appropriation Bill for Wednesday (today).

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the plenary on Tuesday, read the cover letter on the bill presented by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

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