The Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, said that the restriction placed on commercial tricycle operators to certain parts of the city was one of the most difficult decisions that the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) had to make.
He said this during the presentation of the FCT’s 2020 statutory budget to the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the FCT.
The decision, according to him, became imperative because commercial tricycles by law should not operate on the express and highways along with vehicles, as they pose dangers to both passengers and other road users. Most roads within the Federal Capital City, the Minister reiterated were expressways and thus could not accommodate the presence of the commercial tricycles and motorcycles.
He however said that the FCTA was not unmindful of the challenges commuters were facing as a result of the policy and revealed that strategies were being put in place to improve on the public transportation situation in the FCT.
According to him, the FCTA was working closely with the commercial tricycle association to explore the possibility of upgrading their operations to taxi cab operators.
On the 2020 FCT statutory budget, Malam Bello said the FCT was proposing to spend the sum of N232, 875, 365, 947.00. This sum is made up of N53, 876, 241,095.00 (23.15%)as personnel cost, N57,070,343, 435.00 (24.52%) as overhead costs and a proposed capital expenditure of N121,928,781, 417.00 (52.35%) as capital expenditure.
The proposal also indicated reductions in personnel and overhead costs, with N53,876,241,095.00 proposed in the 2020 budget as against the N55,543,090,041.00 in 2019, for personnel and N57,070,343,435.00 as against N57,610,188,661.00 in 2019, for overhead. These figures represent a 2% and 0.93% decrease respectively.
The sum of N121, 928,781,417.00 was proposed for capital expenditure in the 2020 budget, of which N11, 550,000,000.00 is dedicated to the completion of the light rail project and other counterpart funded related projects aimed at enhancing socioeconomic activities in the FCT.
Of the amount also, the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, got N40,282,958,388.00, the Satelite Town Development Agency, STDA, got N33,702,830,000.00 while other Secretariats Departments and Agencies, SDAs, got N47,942,993,029.00 for their capital expenditure to address critical areas like ongoing Road construction, water treatment plants and related facilities as well as a few new projects.
On road infrastructure, the FCTA is proposing to spend the sum of N6,145, 915, 689.00 for the rehabilitation, expansion, extension and construction of 6 major roads which include the Outer Southern Expressway, Inner Southern Expressway amongst others.
In the same vein, the sum of N33.7 billion has been earmarked for the provision of infrastructure in the satellite towns while resettlement and compensation is expected to gulp the sum of N3,4 billion.
The transportation sector was allocated the sum of N14,889,210,813.00 out of which N9 billion is earmarked for the Abuja Light Rail project including the rolling stock and provisions for other phases.
The sum of N37,446,803,606.00 was allocated to the education sector while the health sector has a proposed expenditure of N20,621,096,204.00. The environmental sector has N7,231,908,304.00 allocated to it while the water sector has N10,558,087,603.00. Agriculture has a total of N5,334,526,456,00.
The FCT Minister also informed members of the National Assembly that the FCT Statutory Budget is funded from 1% of the 52.68% Statutory Allocation of the Federal Government from the Federation Account, internally generated revenue and other sources as contained in the Revenue Fiscal Framework for the execution of recurrent and capital expenditure in the FCT.
Malam Bello commended the lawmakers for their support for FCTA, while expressing the hope that with their legislative and moral support, the challenges facing the FCT will be addressed.
In his opening remarks, chairman of the Senate committee on the FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari said that the meeting as to deliberate with top management of the FCTA on the provisions in the FCT 2020 statutory appropriation bill as well as assess the performance the performance of the FCT 2019 statutory budget.
This, he said, would guide the committee in making provisions and for the quick passage of the 2020 budget.
The FCT Minister was accompanied by the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, and other senior members of staff of the FCTA.