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1.    Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has said that the FCT’s N1.28 trillion 2024 statutory budget will revolutionize infrastructure provision in the nation’s capital.

2.    The Minister who made this statement during a media chat with journalists in Abuja, said the budget will not only cater for the provision of roads in the FCT but will also prioritize the healthcare and education sectors, as well as the Abuja metro line, amongst other projects.

3.    He said, “Frankly speaking, it is going to revolutionize infrastructure as far as the FCT is concerned. Not only road networks but also in health and education”.   

4.    The Minister said 70 percent of the budget has been allocated to capital expenditure, with 58 percent of that capital component earmarked for the completion of ongoing projects, while 42 percent is for new projects.5.

    According to the Minister, to be given priority amongst other projects are; the rehabilitation of 21 schools in deplorable conditions across the six Area Councils as well as the Utako, Gwagwalada, and Gwarimpa General Hospitals to ensure that they are up to the required standard.

6.    He said, “I believe by the grace of God that the budget is going to be very impactful to the residents of Abuja”.

7.    On how the FCT intends to finance the over N1 trillion budget which is the largest since the inception of the FCT, the Minister disclosed that the withdrawal of the FCT from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has enabled the Administration to source for funds from the financial market using its IGR.

8.    He said the FCT Administration, through this approach, would be able to address the issue of delays in the completion of ongoing projects as well as the attendant variation of contracts in addition to also restoring the confidence of contractors, which was hitherto lacking.

9.    He said, “The funds are there now and the contractors are happy because these funds have been tied to various specific projects. It is going to create a situation where people will wonder what is going on”.

10.                    “This strategy is what I used when I was Governor and it has paid off… Contractors like nothing better than to hear that funds are available. Before you know it, you have turned around the entire place. That is what is going on today in Abuja”.  

11.                    The Minister also restated that contractors in the FCT were fully committed to completing the projects that are scheduled for completion in May this year to mark the President’s one year in office.

12.                    Some of the projects, according to him, include the Southern Parkway, the Wuye Interchange connecting Wuye to Wuse District, the Outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to OSEX/Ring Road I, the Arterial Road N20 from Northern Parkway to Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX), the Guzape District Infrastructure, the Abuja Metroline and all the access roads to the train stations, amongst others.   

13.                    The FCT Minister also reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to ensuring that development reaches the FCT Area Councils. He said in addition to the ongoing construction of rural roads in the six Area Councils, provision has also been made in the 2024 budget to implement other important roads that were identified by the Area Council stakeholders.

14.                    Speaking on efforts to improve security in the nation’s capital, the Minister said the FCT is setting up a special response squad comprising a joint team from the various security agencies. He said the team will be well-equipped and provided with the necessary technology to tackle crime and criminality in the FCT.

15.                    He said, “We are also getting drones for the security personnel who will man the Command-and-Control Centre. Having a drone is key, so that you will be able to know when these bandits are moving in or when they are moving out so you will be able to take proactive action”.

16.                    On the installation of CCTV in the FCT, the Minister said it would require the collaboration of stakeholders in the security sector, including the Office of the National Security Adviser and Department of State Services (DSS)adding that steps would also need to be taken to ensure that CCTVs are not vandalized after installation.

17.                    Barr. Wike also spoke on land matters in the FCT and assured that efforts were ongoing to sanitize land administration in the nation’s capital.

18.                    The Minister dismissed allegations that he was vindictive in actions taken on certain land matters in the Asokoro District and warned mischief makers against giving ethnic colorations to actions taken by the FCTA.

19.                     He said the FCT Civil Service Commission would take disciplinary actions against any staff of the FCTA found guilty of perpetrating land fraud saying “As far as I’m concerned in this FCT, it is no longer going to be business as usual.

20.                    The Minister also addressed some political issues in his home state of Rivers but said he intends to concentrate more on his job as FCT Minister.







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