The Senate on Friday passed the 2020 budget of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with an increase of N45.48 billion.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, called for the full implementation of the budget by the FCT authorities immediately it was passed.
The passage of the budget followed the presentation of the harmonized report of the committees on FCT Statutory Appropriation Bill 2020 by Senator Abubakar Kyari at plenary.
Also on Friday, Lawan named Senator Smart Adeyemi, representing Kogi West, as the new Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation.
The Aviation Committee was formerly chaired by Senator Dino Melaye who lost to Adeyemi during the senatorial rerun election conducted recently in the district.
Lawan also said that Senator Ibrahim Danbaba is now the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs
The Senate also adjourned plenary till January 28, 2020 to enable Senators observe the Christmas and New Year break.
A cursory look at the FCT budget shows that while the total sum of N232,875,365,947.00 was proposed, the Senate passed the sum of N278,355,365,947.00 which represents an increase of N45.48 billion.
The breakdown of the budget showed that N121,928,781,417.00 was proposed for capital expenditure, while Senate increased the amount to N160,133,401,417.00.
The recurrent expenditure was also increased from N110,946,584,530.00 to N118,221,964,530.00 while the overhead cost was raised from N57,070,343,435.00 to NN62,343,723,435.00.
The personnel cost was equally topped up from N53,876,241,095.00 to 55,878,241,095.00 by the Senate.
Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC – Borno North), while justifying the increase, said the committee had to double the allocation for security to enable the use of technology to curb the menace.
He noted that the current security apparatus cannot guarantee safety and security in the FCT and its surrounding towns and villages.
Kyari said: “The menace of insecurity calls for a new approach that will be founded on credible intelligence gathering.
“The budgetary allocation on security to the FCT Administration is to enable the administration harness the latest technologies for the enhancement of productivity
“This will make security agencies in FCT to be more pro-active and reasonably predict potential crimes.
“In this regard, the committees of FCT deliberated and resolved to double the proposed allocation to security in the Federal Capital Territory and its environs.”
He said that the committee deployed funds to meet areas of critical needs like security, roads, water, health, education and development of satellite towns within the territory.
He said that the committee also took into consideration city maintenance and cleaning, agriculture and transportation, construction of affordable housing and access road to the resettlement site of Wasa I, construction of resettlement houses in Galuwyi/Shere, rehabilitation and expansion of class rooms in FCT Secondary schools.
The Security Department of the FCT was allocated the total sum of N5,332,034,996.00 comprising N64,792,906.00 for personnel cost and N5,267,242,090.00 for overhead cost.
Lawan, in his remarks, charged the FCT authorities to make the city befitting, safe and secured for residents and visitors alike.
He said that the sitting of the Senate on a Friday to consider and pass the FCT budget shows its commitment to do all that is necessary to better the lives of Nigerians.
Lawan said: “For the Senate to reconvene today, Friday, which is not a sitting day by our standing orders shows the commitment, dedication, the capacity of the Senate to stand to deal with any matter that is of national significance and national interest.
“This is to show that we are interested, very much, in any issue that will make life better for Nigerians.
“As the State Assembly of the FCT, we have discharged our responsibility. The next thing is for the FCT to ensure that it implements the budget.
“So, I want to on behalf of all of us, ask the FCT to be steadfast to ensure that what we have passed here is what is implemented.
“We will work together with the executive arm of government to ensure that we get those revenues that are supposed to fund the budget that we have passed.
“In this regard, we will not allow the FCT Administration not to do what is expected of it. We must ensure that this FCT is reclaimed because there are so many things that are not going right.
“We need to ensure that this FCT is safe, that residents and visitors alike come in here, do their businesses safely in a very secured environment.
“This is supposed to be the most secured city in Nigeria because this is the seat of government and if we are not able to provide that security that is befitting for the status of the FCT, the story outside of Nigeria will not be good for Nigeria.”