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Wike seeks NASS approval to spend N61.6 billion on priority projects  

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike has sought approval of the National Assembly to spend N61.6 billion 2023 supplementary budget on priority projects in the federal capital territory.   

The FCT minister made the request when he appeared before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on FCT at the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Wednesday.  

Wike noted that the supplementary budget was to accommodate additional inflows, including receipts from Paris Club Refund, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Tax Liabilities, and Special Intervention Funds. 

The minister also mentioned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and the Infrastructure Support Fund as other additional inflows, leading to a revised budget of N641.3 billion as against the N579.7 billion earlier budgeted for the 2023 financial year. 

The minister emphasised that the projects if completed, would enhance ease of transportation, create jobs for the citizenry, and accomplish a positive impact on the citizens in general. 

Priority projects the supplementary budget is to be spent on  

Wike identified some of the priority projects, such as the resurfacing of existing roads and remedial work Phase I and II, and the completion of roads B6, B12 and Circle Road in Abuja Central Area. 

The minister outlined other priority projects including full scope development of arterial road N20, from Northern Parkway to Outer Northern Expressway and the construction of Southern Parkway from Christian Centre to Ring Road I. 

Furthermore, Wike explained that the funds would also go into the rehabilitation and expansion of the Outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to Osex/Ring Road I Junction, including four interchanges and provision of access road to Kabusa Garden Estate. 

Other priority projects include the completion of the Vice President’s residence, the construction of the cultural centre and Millennium Tower, and the rehabilitation of the National Christian Centre and National Mosque.  

Also, the provision of mass transit buses and rehabilitation of existing and serviceable vehicles were listed as additional priority projects that the funds would go into.  

Wike also revealed that he aims to complete all the projects before May 29, 2024.  

While addressing the legislators, Wike gave a breakdown of the N61.6 billion supplementary budget.  

He stated that N25.8 billion was from the Paris Club Refund and N14.3 billion was a refund of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System/PAYE tax liabilities. 

Furthermore, he said that N5 billion was from the special intervention fund, while N9.4 billion was from Internally Generated Revenue for Abuja and N7 billion from the infrastructure support fund.  

Responding to the minister’s appeal, the Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Mr Muktar Betara, commended Wike for his passion to develop the territory. 

Responding to the minister’s appeal, the Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, Mr Muktar Betara, commended Wike for his passion to develop the territory. 

Betara, however, suggested that Wike reconsider the uniform fees pegged as charges for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy. 

According to the lawmakers, people living in Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse and others should not pay the same fees as those in satellite towns. 

In his remarks, the Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Mr Ibrahim Bomai, also praised the minister’s initiative to complete ongoing projects while other issues like security, education and health were provided for in the 2024 budget.