By Chioma Nnodim
Minister, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Barr Nyesom Wike, says the Ministry of Finance has approved disbursing 50 per cent of the 2023 supplementary budget for implementing capital projects in the FCT.
Wike made this known on Thursday, while addressing Journalists, after completing an inspection tour of three ongoing projects in the FCT including the Outer Southern Expressway, beginning from AA Rano behind the Villa through Deeper Life Junction, SARS, Apo Roundabout to Wassa, under construction by Messrs CGC Construction Limited; and the Northern N20 Expressway in Jahi District beginning from AA Rano and stretching to Zuba; being constructed by Gilmore Construction, as well as the residence of the Vice President.
Meanwhile, the Minister had stated that the projects were intended to mark the first year in office of the President, Bola Tinubu, while giving the contractors a deadline of May 24, 2024.
Wike said the approval and subsequent disbursement of the fund gave hope that none of the ongoing projects will be left uncompleted while reiterating that the projects were intended to commemorate the first year in office of President Bola Tinubu.
“I am happy to announce to you that the Ministry of Finance has released fifty per cent of the National Supplementary Budget, and that in a way has given us that hope that the contractors would be paid anytime from now. We have also gotten assent to the statutory budget which again has given us hope that no project will be left uncompleted as promised. We visited three projects today; one being carried out by CGC, one by Julius Berger, and the N20 Carriage being constructed by Gilmor.
The supplementary budget as approved by the National Assembly is N100 billion and 50 per cent of the amount has been released which is N50 Billion. This afternoon when I went to the office, I directed the Permanent Secretary that immediate payment should be made to the companies carrying out projects in FCT”, he said
Wike also commended the quality of the various projects, while ensuring residents of the FCT that all promises made towards the completion of the projects would be fulfilled.
“I am sure residents of Abuja have seen the difference that no promise made would not be fulfilled. All promises made will be fulfilled. And we also want to commend the residents of Abuja for the support they are giving to us. We are happy with what we have seen, and we will continue to do it for the satisfaction of the residents of Abuja and assure them that the Renewed Hope Agenda was not a mere talk. So, it is a promise and a promise kept”, he said.
Speaking on comments from some quarters embarked on by the Wike-led FCTA that were not directly beneficial or impactful to the people, Wike said “I don’t know how anybody will say road projects are not impactful. First, it creates jobs; two, it makes the economy thrive. What can be more impactful than road construction? All projects that we are doing are impactful projects.”