The Senate has passed for second reading the N607.962bn 2022 budget by the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The appropriation bill was passed on Wednesday after several objections over the lateness of the presentation of the 2022 budget.
The upper legislative chamber consequently, ordered the authorities of FCT, to make available, 2023 budget proposals latest by next week at or risk zero allocation for the fiscal year.
The N607.962bn 2022 budget for FCT, ran into trouble waters in the Senate, when after the presentation for a second reading by the leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir ( APC Sokoto East), Senator James Manager (PDP Delta South), frowned at it, for coming in October.
Senator Manager who repeatedly reminded the senators that the year the budgetary proposals were meant for is less than three months to roll away, subtly called for its rejection.
Manager said, “Mr President if I heard the Senate Leader right, the N607billion appropriation bill, presented for second reading, is for FCT and to be implemented in the 2022 fiscal year which is less than three months to roll away.
“To me, this is very unfortunate and must be stopped. What are the people saddled with the drafting of the proposals doing since January? Are they aware that we are already in the 10th month of the year?”
In preventing rejection of the proposals, the Senator representing FCT, Philip Aduda, hurriedly rose to tender an apology on behalf of the FCT Minister for the late submission of 2022 budget proposals.
Aduda in his intervention said, “Mr President, it is very unfortunate that the 2022 FCT budget is submitted for consideration in October but I seek the indulgence of this Senate to consider it by passing it for second reading as moved by the leader.”
But the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, in his remarks said submitting the 2022 budget proposals in October was not only unfortunate but unacceptable.
He directed the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Smart Adeyemi, to liaise with FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, on the unfailing submission of the 2023 Budget next week.
Lawan said, “What the FCT did on its 2022 budget submission in the month of October is not only unfortunate but unacceptable.
“Honestly speaking, this should not be accepted by us but for the interest of innocent residents of FCT, it will be considered.
Lawan also issued a directive that FCT should unfailingly submit for consideration, its proposed budget for 2023 next week or keep to itself.
“This Senate will no longer consider this type of approval-seeking submissions in the 10th month of the year the budget proposals are meant for”, he said.
Breakdown of the N607. 962billion 2022 FCT budget grudgingly passed for a second reading by the Senate are N76.569billion for personnel cost, N138.199billion for overhead, and N393.192billion for capital projects.
“However, similar action from FCT will not be accepted as far as the late budget submission is considered.”