The Senate has queried the N4bn earmarked for the construction of a mission house for First ladies, as listed in the 2013 budget of the Federal Capital Territory.

It also questioned the plan to expend N7.5bn on the management of the FCT and N150m on the renovation of the Vice-President?s Guest House in Asokoro, Abuja.

The Senate raised the concerns during its second reading of the FCTA?s N253.2bn budget, of which N48.034bn is for personnel cost; N49.5bn for overheads and the balance of N155.7bn for capital projects.

Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), while leading the debate, said, ?The fundamental thrust of the bill is for the provision of services and infrastructure which are in tandem with Mr President?s transformation agenda on empowerment.?

The breakdown of the budget shows that a total of N48.65bn is earmarked for the completion and construction of some vital roads in the FCT and the provision of infrastructural facilities in some districts.

Such projects include N7.45bn for the expansion and rehabilitation of Onex (Kubwa) and Airport Expressway; N22.53bn for infrastructure at ongoing districts and roads; and N2.7bn fornwater supply.

?The sum of N4bn is proposed for the.construction of First Ladies Mission Building. Also the sum of N150m is set aside for the renovation of Vice-President?s Guest House in Asokoro.

?The sum of N24bn is proposed for the provision of infrastructural facilities and the completion of ongoing projects. About N23bn is for the completion of ongoing projects while N470m is for new projects.?

Further breakdown indicated that N30bn was earmarked for the provision of infrastructure and services in the education sector and N12bn for the health sector.

Transport got N50.5bn; environment, N5.2bn; security, N2.4bn; Agriculture, N6bn; social development, N5bn and management of Abuja city, N7.5bn.

In addition, a total of N1.6bn was proposed for the construction of a resettlement house and payment of compensation.

Ndoma-Egba noted that Abuja was too far behind in terms of achieving the development target envisaged, adding that only 20 per cent of the target had been achieved due to scarce resources.

Deputy Leader of the Senate, Abdul Ningi, while commenting, noted that there was a misplacement of priority in the FCT budget.

He questioned the rationale behind the provision of N4bn for the First Ladies house and N150m for the renovation of the Vice-President?s Guest House.

Ningi, said, ?This is a misplacement of priority, how can we have N4bn for a house for first ladies. The N150m for the renovation of guest house of the Vice-President shows that we are not getting our priorities right.?

President of the Senate, David Mark, observed that the budget had some faults but did not make any specific reference.

Nigerian Eye

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