5 December 2012

Nigeria: FCT to Build N2 Billion House for VP

The Federal Capital Territory will spend N2 billion from its N50 billion proposed 2013 budget to complete the designing and construction of Vice President's residence located at Aso Drive, Abuja.

This was contained in the budget estimate's document presented yesterday by FCT Minister Bala Mohammed to the Senator Smart Adeyemi-led Senate Committee on FCT.

Members of the committee became worried when the minister put his ministry's budget performance in 2012 at 99 percent.

Committee member, Senator Bello Gwarzo wondered why the FCT proposed another N2 billion for the completion of the Vice president's residence which was one of the projects supposedly near completion having been executed 99 percent.

The committee also expressed surprise at the ministry's proposal to add N300 million to the N1.5 billion already budgeted in 2012 for the designing and construction of the residence of the principal officers of the National Assembly.

In his presentation, the minister said for the 2013 fiscal year, "the FCTA has to operate within its budget ceiling of N50bn to take care of the ongoing projects and outstanding liabilities. The FCT, however, is faced with the responsibility of providing required infrastructure to make Abuja a world-class city as well as actualise the transformation agenda of Mr. President."

Against the committee's warning against the planned demolition of 31 estates, the minister said the decision to pull down the estates was irreversible.

Adeyemi queried why the minister would allow estates to be completed before demolishing them.

The lawmaker also described as illegal, the collection of fees for parking spaces in Abuja.

The minister who admitted that there was no law backing the park-and-pay system in the FCT, said the matter was being treated administratively.

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