2018 Budget: Senate Flays Finance Ministry over Poor Allocation to FCT

Dino Melaye
By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate Tuesday expressed concern over the non release of the total allocation for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the 2018 budget by the federal ministry of finance.
It’s committee on FCT headed by Senator Dino Melaye has therefore scored the federal ministry of finance low in the implementation of the 2018 budget of the Territory.
 Melaye declared that the ministry of finance by WAEC standard , scored F9 in budget releases to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)  in 2018 by making 31.9% releases from the N30.4billion approved for the fiscal year.
He also kicked against yearly drastic reduction in the capital component budgetary allocations to the territory .
The committee kicked against the trend when the FCT Minister , Muhammed Bello and top management staff of the capital territory for 2019 budget defence .
The committee chairman had stated that the capital component of FCT’s budget allocations over the years had reduced from N109billion in 2008 to N30billion in 2019.
He also expressed dismay that out of the N30.39 billion approved for capital projects in the 2017 budget of the territory , only N12.7billion  which was about 40.1% was released.
The declining trend, he added , worsened in 2018, when out of the N30.2billion approved as capital expenditure for the territory, only N9.6billion which was 31.9%  was released
“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 remarks, the FCT Minister , Muhammed 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 further said .