Senate steps down N98.5bn 2024 FCT supplementary appropriation bill

The Senate Wednesday stepped down N98.5billion 2024 supplementary budget for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, Abuja).

The supplementary appropriation bill seeks to consolidate the magnitude and scope of the ongoing projects across the six Area Councils  in FCT which was however stood down during consideration due to lack of details of  monies earmarked for the projected projects.

In his lead debate, on the bill, the leader of the Senate , Senator Opeyemi  Bamidele ( APC Ekiti Central) ,  noted that the total revenue proposed for the FCT is N98.5 billion resulting to a revised total FCT IRS 2024 statutory revenue appropriation to the sum of N348 billion.

He said : “The summary of the 2024 city supplementary project proposal is as follows: Total revenue proposed, 98 billion 500 million Naira only and the total expenditure proposed is in the sum of 98 billion 500 million Naira only.”

Bamidele noted that the budget was essential to ensure the completion of the ongoing infrastructure projects in the FCT. 

However,  the bill ran into troubled waters when senators observed that  specific breakdown of the funds was not presented to them for scrutiny.

Specifically , Senator Ede Dafinone (APC, Delta Central),  raised concerns over the unavailability of a breakdown of the budget and called  for further clarifications to be made before subsequent passage for a 2nd reading.

“I would like to note that the supplementary budget presented before us here does not give us any clarification on the revenue proposed or the usage of the funds. 

“We are given two generic headings, total revenue proposed N98.5 billion and total expenditure proposed N98.5 billion.

“I want to suggest that some further clarifications should be required to enable this House to know exactly where the revenue was generated and also how the expenditure would be made, so that we could approve both the revenue and the expenditure.”

In the same vein, Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East) stressed that there would be no point debating a bill without a proper breakdown presented to the Senators.

He said, “I am not against this budget, but I feel when we are presenting budgets like this, we should do them in the right way, so that posterity will also join this fight. 

“When we are presenting a budget, it is supposed to come with a profile or a breakdown of what the expenditure is, what is the source of the revenue, what is the performance of the previous budget, and then from there, we deliberate it. 

“But if it is going to be committed to the committee level, then we are not supposed to debate it at a plenary.”

Responding to the observations, the President of the Senate,  Godswill Akpabio said : “The leader of the Senate, you have heard this observation, there is nothing before us to debate.

He consequently put further consideration of the bill to the Senators for voice votes , with the nays having it , and the bill stood down .