By Fred Itua, Abuja
Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Musa Bello, on Tuesday, informed the Senate that the Administration spent N28.5 billion on sundry activities to tackle the COVID-19
pandemic, especially during the lockdown.
Briefing members of the Senate committee on FCT during the presentation of the revised 2020 budget, the Minister said the fund was spent on provision of security services, provision of palliatives for indigent residents, as well as assisting neighbouring States who were distressed.
He added that the FCT health facility supported residents from States where the level of government assistance was low and that the territory also provided healthcare services for both residents and non residents of the city.
These according to him, took a tremendous toll on the financial resources of the FCT, observing that a lot was done on provision of palliatives for the masses, especially as help was not forthcoming from anywhere when the COVID-19 crisis started.
While requesting that the FCT budget be reviewed to reflect the realities on ground with respect to COVID-19 pandemic, Bello said the territory realised N136billion from various sources, representing 54% of the N232.8billion earlier projected by the agency.
He said the review which the FCT is seeking senate approval for in its budget was to take care of the key areas that must be sustained despite COVID-19, adding that almost all areas of the budget had been cut by 50%, except areas that has direct bearing on human lives, such as school feeding programme, salaries, grants, among others.
The minister explained further that N61billion has been proposed for capital projects, especially because of the need to continue the execution of key ongoing projects.
He said that 97.1% has been spent on recurrent budget, just as he stated that most 2020 capital projects have been rolled over to 2021 in the revised budget to be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.