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Wike Seeks NASS Approval Of N61 Billion To Execute Critical Projects In FCT Before End Of Fiscal Year

Nyeson Wike
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyeson Wike, has sought the approval of the National Assembly to spend over 61 billion Naira on critical projects in the FCT before the end of this fiscal year.
He said that President Bola Tinubu has already endorsed the amount for submission to the federal lawmakers as 2023 supplementary budget.
The Minister, who made this known during inspection of projects, expressed optimism that the millennium tower project, when completed, would change Abuja’s landscape greatly and boost tourism in the FCT.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of ongoing work at the construction of Southern Parkway to Ring I and B12 stretching from Bolingo junction to the city gate; assuring the contractors that payment would be made early and monthly.
“Remember when we came on board, we did say we will prioritize and we will discuss with contractors that we have the funds. If we give them the funds, what time will it take them to complete these projects?
“The first thing we did was to identify projects that we think can be completed within one year…..We have funded them and we will continue to fund them,” he added.
“What is important to me is that the commitment we have given to them, they have reciprocated. Look at the Vice President’s residence that was awarded in 2010 at the cost of N7 billion. It was abandoned and we called back Julius Berger to know if they can complete the project within eight months and they replied with an affirmation but they cannot continue with it at the same cost, which is obvious. They have indicated that they cannot do it for less than N15 billion.
“Looking at the inflation in the cost of building materials, but we have just come to see what they are doing and we have told them that we will fund them before ending of the month very well so that they will be able to finish it.”
The Minister said that the renewed vigour regarding ongoing work at various project sites is due to the promise and delivery of Renewed Hope Agenda by the President.
According to him, the FCT Administration would not rely on funds from Federation account; adding: “We are doing everything possible to improve our IGR. As I speak to you today, we have done very well in terms of IGR and this money will be directed to specific projects so that we will not later say that we do not have money to do some projects.
“For example, what we are doing now is that, we have submitted supplementary budget of 2023 and Mr. President has approved to transmit it to the National Assembly, now we are asking that we should be allowed to spend 61 billion before 2024, because we have the money and to use that money for specific projects so that by May 29th these projects are completed then we take new other projects for 2024.”
He stressed that no project he started would be abandoned and that discussions are almost concluded with SUKUK to fund projects in the FCT to the tune of between N70 billion and N100 billion.
“We are going to attach these funds to specific projects. For them, they are interested in roads and bridges, but we spoke to them that we have other projects like the Millenium Tower that is going to change our landscape in terms of tourism and rest of it, and they have agreed.
“So what you will see from next year will be like a wonder and with everybody’s support we are goin to achieve.”
The Minister tasked the contractors to work hard to deliver in the promises he made; saying: “Put everything you have so that we can achieve this, so that all these stories about abandoned projects will be a thing of the past.”

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