By Senator Iroegbu and Adedayo Akinwale
The House committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has said it disagreed with the FCT Administration (FCTA) over the money appropriated for security in the proposed 2013 FCT budget, insisting that it was inflated.
The committee stated this yesterday, during the presentation of the statutory budget of the FCT, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
A member of the committee, Hon. Friday Itulah argued that the N2.37 billion security vote earmarked for FCT was too much, stressing that substantial amount was budgeted for security in the national budget and that since the FCT was the seat of the government it would be “a focal point, as it would attract more attention from the federal government."
The Chairman, House committee, Hon. Emmanuel Jime said the FCTA should not expect that the proposed budget for 2013 would be approved the exact way it was presented as its was expected to undergo scrutiny.
Jime said, though he was impressed with the proposed budget for 2013 fiscal year, but emphasised that their job, as a committee, was to ensure that wastages were blocked wherever it was discovered.
"We will also find out the sectors where the budget was not adequately taken care of or where projects are not citizens’-centered as the essence of governance is to have impact on ordinary Nigerians," he said, adding. "It would also be a mission accomplished if what was proposed in the budget would be implemented by the end of the year."
Presenting the budget, the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, John Obinna Chukwu said it proposed an expenditure of N259,697,591,075 out of a projected revenue of N259,698,236,741, with the fiscal surplus of N645,666.
While giving a breakdown of the budget structure of expenditure for the 2013, Chukwu disclosed that personnel costs would gulp N48,034,818,410, which was 18.5 per cent of the budget; overhead costs would also gulp N55, 902, 373, 191, 024 (21.5 per cent), total recurrent expenditure is 103,937, 191, 434 (40.0 per cent), and capital expenditure of N155,760, 399, 641 (60.0 per cent) which make a grand total of N259, 697, 591, 07.5, with a surplus of 645, 666.
He said that the bulk of the proposed budget goes to infrastructural development in the territory, which was estimated at 60 per cent.
"These include expansion and rehabilitation of Onex and Airport expressway, provision of infrastructure to on-going districts’ roads, provision of public buildings, resettlement and payment of compensation, education, health, among others," he said.