FCT under Muhammed Bello has witnessed a turnaround in projects execution reports, Wale Ajimotokan
Before he joined the cabinet as the FCT minister four years ago, Malam Mohammed Musa Bello was the Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) from 2007 until May, 2015.
But his stint witnessed remarkable turnaround of several projects inherited from the previous administration in spite of budgetary constraints.
For instance the FCT administration proposed budget for 2017 was N222 billion but from the outset it confronted with drastic shortfall in its statutory budget. The National Priority Budget which in 2016 stood at N109 billion, fell to N30.4 billion in 2017 and N40.3 billion in 2018 and N30.7 billion in 2019. More so, of the N30.4 billion appropriated in 2017, it could only access N12,198,561,435.40. In addition, the monthly statutory allocation slumped from about N5 billion to about N2.7 billion against a wage bill of over N4 billion.
The realisation of over N21 billion by the newly reconstituted FCT Internal Revenue Service in the first quarter is one of the untiring efforts of FCT Administration to shore up its revenue profile and wean itself from statutory revenue of federal government. The board anticipates a revenue of over N130 billion in 2019. This has been described by experts as landmark.
In addition, it is also leveraging technology through a digital infrastructure to stem revenue leakage in the collection and monitoring of payments at FCT’s main revenue sources.
The generated revenue and statutory budget allocation, enabled FCTA to complete several key road and national projects in the past four years. They include: Kubwa – Zuba Expressway, known as the Outer Northern Expressway; Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway – (Airport Expressway), Bill Clinton Interchange/bridge which connects Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The Aso Villa Roundabout Bridge, which was initiated and completed by the administration, Constitution and Independent Roads (Roads B6 and B12), running from the National Stadium to the Three Arm Zone and back.
Inner Southern Expressway (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Expressway). The east portion and west end of this road have been substantially done. Bill Clinton Drive: The Federal Executive Council (FEC) last year approved N1.95 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation works on the road. Built more than 20 years ago, it has since exceeded its lifespan and is currently in serious state of disrepair.
Southern Parkway traversing the Central Bank, NTA and Muhammadu Buhari Way. Karshi-Apo Road:This road is designed to create alternative route to the city from that axis.
Apo-Wasa Road Dualistion Project was also designed to pull up the Karshi Apo Road to the heart of the city. While the Nyanya-Gbagarape Road, measuring 1.9km is 88 percent completed and has rekindled the economic and social lives of the community.
Kuje-Gwagwalada bypass road traversing major agricultural firms and farmlands is complete. In Karu Satellite Town Infrastructure, FCTA has secured approval of the sum of N2.6 billion by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for massive construction of infrastructure within Karu Phase 2.
In the Abuja Light Rail project, the FCT Administration has met the two packages of the project at an average of 60 percent completion and has driven it to 98 percent completion. The rail transport would open the corridor of 12 modern stations, for tourism, commerce, investment and job creation.
1.2MW Lower Usuma Dam Solar Power Project. N46.5million was paid out to the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as counterpart funding for the project designed to improve FCT water supply.