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Inadequate funding responsible for underdevelopment of FCT Satellite towns – Senator Kyari

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Senator Abubakar Kyari
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Senator representing Borno North Senatorial district, Abubakar Kyari, on Wednesday, decried underfunding as factor militating against development of Satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory.

He said unless there was an improvement in funds allocation, development of Satellite towns would continue to be a mirage, adding that there should be annual budget increases to facilitate development of Satellite towns.

The lawmaker who is the Senate Committee on FCT acknowledged that residents of Abuja have been complaining of FCT Minister on low space of development and lack of basic social amenities and infrastructure.

Some are of the opinion that the present Minister of FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello, has not been doing enough to provide needed development that is befitting of a capital city of a nation.

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But Senator Kyari, while submitting the harmonised version of the 2022 FCT budget, as approved by both Senate and House of Representatives Committee, told the Senate Committee on Appropriation that, the N64bn proposed for the year 2022 “is grossly inadequate”.

He explained that, there was, however, an increase from the sum of N37,430,762,421.00 approved for FCT in the 2021 budget to the sum of N64,861,604, 659.00 being proposed for the 2022 fiscal year.

“Despite the increment from last year’s appropriation of N37,430,762,421.00 to the FCT, current appropriation of the sum of N64,861,604, 659.00 is grossly inadequate.

“This is because the sum of N33,222,150,000.00 was meant for Multilateral/Bilateral project – tied – loans – Greater Abuja Water Supply Project; indicating that FCT administration is only left with an appropriation of N31,639,454,659.00 to cater for its new and ongoing projects.

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“Therefore, most of the projects within FCT will suffer delay in completion or total abandonment.

“The inadequate funding for the development of the satellite towns within the FCT will overstretch available infrastructure and create slums in the FCT”, Senator Kyari said.

The Senator lamented that, despite approving the sum of N37bn for FCT in the 2021 budget, only N30bn was released to the FCT, “representing a budget performance of 81%”.

He posited that, the FCT does not receive a penny for personnel and overhead costs, saying, out of the N64 billion proposal this year, the Ministry of Finance introduced the sum of N33 billion into the FCT component for the 2022 budget for the new project titled ‘Multilateral/Bilateral project – tied – loans – Greater Abuja Water Supply Project’.

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This he said, amounts to more than half of the FCT national budget for 2022 (51.22%).

“In view of the aforementioned, and considering the continued decrease in the release of funds to the FCT administration; coupled with the present fiscal challenges, the federal government is going through, the Committee has recommended and returned the budget with amendments in the sum of N64,861,604,649.”

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