The House of Representatives has approved a supplementary budget of N98.5 billion for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2024. This approval followed a detailed presentation by Muktar Betara, Chairman of the House Committee on FCT, who outlined the critical need for the additional funds.

House of Representatives Approves N98.5bn Supplementary Budget for FCT

President Bola Tinubu initially transmitted the supplementary budget to the National Assembly, highlighting its importance for addressing key infrastructure gaps in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The House of Representatives considered and passed the supplementary appropriation bill on Thursday, after a clause-by-clause review at the committee on supply, culminating in its third reading and final approval.

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Betara emphasized the thorough scrutiny the committee undertook before concluding that the proposed budget is essential for the development of the FCT. He explained that the budget would support critical sectors, with significant allocations earmarked for various essential services. A breakdown of the supplementary budget reveals that N48.5 billion is designated for engineering services, N18 billion for the education secretariat, and N16 billion each for public buildings and the transportation department.

In presenting the committee’s report, Betara reiterated that “all revenues accruing to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, including the statutory revenue distribution, shall be paid into the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s statutory revenue account.” Furthermore, the report stipulates that no funds shall be withdrawn from this account without the explicit appropriation by the National Assembly.

The House report also includes a provision allowing the FCT Minister to seek a waiver from the National Assembly in cases of revenue shortfalls, ensuring that necessary expenditures are not hindered by funding gaps. This measure is designed to provide flexibility in managing the supplementary budget while ensuring accountability and legislative oversight.

The committee’s findings and recommendations were put to a voice vote during Thursday’s plenary session, presided over by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, and were unanimously adopted by the House. The supplementary budget’s passage underscores the legislative commitment to addressing infrastructure needs and improving the living standards in the Federal Capital Territory.

Meanwhile, the Senate also moved forward with the supplementary budget, passing it for the second reading on the same day. This concurrent action by both chambers of the National Assembly signals broad legislative support for the initiative.

President Tinubu’s administration has emphasized the necessity of the supplementary budget to bridge infrastructure gaps that were not covered in the main 2024 budget. The additional funds are intended to enhance critical services and infrastructure in Abuja, ensuring the capital remains functional and accommodating to its residents and visitors.

the N98.5 billion supplementary budget for the FCT represents a strategic effort to bolster essential services and infrastructure in Abuja. The careful legislative review and subsequent approval by the House of Representatives reflect a coordinated effort to ensure that the nation’s capital is well-equipped to meet its developmental needs. The inclusion of a mechanism for handling revenue shortfalls demonstrates a pragmatic approach to budgeting, balancing the need for flexibility with the requirement for fiscal responsibility.