Senator Aduda to FG: Provide FCT with more fund to tackle Covid-19 like Lagos
The Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Philip Aduda has called on the Federal Government to provide Abuja with more assistance and support just like it did to Lagos to enable the continued fight against Covid-19.
He said this as the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs to present the revised 2020 budget of the ministry. According to Aduda, “During the covid-19 pandemic, we were aware of your movement and the things you did. At some point, we even had zero cases because of your proactive in dealing with situations. “I want to say this honorable minister, when you are done with this you have to go back to the Ministry of Finance, I know you will not want to do this.
They must give us assistance, and the monies just like they gave to Lagos. Lagos was the epicenter and they got contribution from the federal government.” However, the Minister, Bello, told the Senate that the FCT Administration spent N28.5bn ($75,521,466) to tackle the coronavirus pandemic within Abuja, especially during the lockdown. Bello said the fund was spent on the provision of security services, provision of palliatives for indigent residents, as well as assisting neighboring states who were distressed. He added that the FCT health facility supported residents from states where the level of government assistance was low.
The Minister said the territory also provided healthcare services for both residents and non-residents of the city. He said the development took a tremendous toll on the financial resources of the FCT. Bello requested that the FCT should budget be reviewed to reflect the realities on ground with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. He added the FCTA realized N136bn from various sources, representing 54 percent of the N232.8bn earlier projected by the agency. The minister, however, 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. The chairman of the Senate committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, commended the FCT over its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying the prediction from the western countries were gloomy for Nigeria.