By: Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has appealed to members of the National Assembly for more support to complete its numerous priority projects.
FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello made the appeal while leading members of the Senate Committee on FCT on tour of ongoing projects in the nation’s capital.
Mallam Bello expressed appreciation to the the Committee for the tremendous support it has given to the FCTA, including taking out of their busy schedule to inspect some of the projects being handled by the FCTA.
He said: “Basically, as we round up this administration, our efforts are to complete as many projects as possible based on the prioritisation according to the funds available.”
“But with the support of the Committee, we are thinking of alternative sources of funding, so that some of these critical projects that are time-bound will be completed within the stipulated period”, he added.
The Minister, while explaining that the past two days of the oversight project tour mainly focused on few projects within the city, such as roads and water projects, noted that the FCTA was executing a number of projects in the satellite towns covering roads, water and power.
According to him, most of the road projects inspected were significant in ensuring seamless traffic flow and boosting economic activities within the City.
Commenting on the Greater Abuja Water Supply project, which entails construction of water supply network, Mallam Bello said that the project was significant becuase of its massive scale and impact.
Describing the water project a legacy project, Mallam Bello appealed for its funding in the budget to enable the FCTA get its counterpart funding for its execution.
He explained that, on completion, the project would ensure sufficient and uninterrupted supply of treated water to the whole city and environs.
On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Sen. Tolu Odebiyi pledged continued support of his Committee to the completion of the projects and provision of services in the FCT.
Odebiyi explained: “What we are trying to do is to catalogue what they have embarked upon and hope to complete in these few remaining months that are left for this administration as well as what their priority projects are”.
His words: “It is just in time for when they are going to present thier budget, so we can know which project to prioritise (in terms of funding). Obviously, we don’t have infinite amount of funds, so we can know which funds should be made available for which project”.
He also hailed the Administration thus: “I must also commend the team of the FCTA for the extent of work they are doing, we have been highly impressed as we have seen a lot of ongoing projects”.
“The greater Abuja Water works is also a very impressive work and time-sensitive project, because it is also been funded by the Chinese Exim Bank. I think it is important for us to quickly take a look at that, so we can make up our part of the counterpart funding, so that we don’t run the risk of completion risk,” he said.
“But overall, I think that they (FCTA) are focused on the right track, and we are going to give them the needed support as much as we can. We are also going to pressure them to make sure that they bring in as much revenue as possible, from their own part, and also impress on the Federal Government to support Abuja development”, he emphasized.
Thinking of alternative funding for the FCT, the Chairman said: “The way Abuja is, obviously all the developments cannot be done based on their (FCTA) own internal statutory funding alone, we have to take a look at where the Federal Government can come in, and increase what their own contribution is to Abuja, in order for them to complete these projects”.
“Abuja is increasing everyday in size in terms of the number of people coming into the city, and the pressure on the city is getting more and more, and the demand for infrastructure is also increasing everyday,” he stressed.