The National Assembly has increased and passed the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Statutory Appropriation Bill of N278.78 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.

This is against the proposed amount of N232.88 billion, a difference of N46 billion.

The bill was passed following the consideration of a harmonised report of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on FCT Statutory Appropriation Bill.

In the Senate, the chairman of the FCT Committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari, explained that the increase of N46 billion was aimed at addressing the challenges of security, road infrastructure, and development of satellite towns in the nation’s capital.

He gave a breakdown of expenditure to include N55,878,241,095 as personnel costs; and N62,343,723,435 as overhead costs; bringing recurrent expenditure to a total of N118,221,964,530.

According to Kyari, the sum budgeted for capital expenditure in the 2020 fiscal year for the FCT is N160, 133,401,417.

Earlier, lawmakers in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly made various contributions before the bill was read for the third time and passed.

Senator Ayo Akinyelure believes the FCT internal revenue services have the capacity to achieve the budget to provide security architecture in Abuja.

He added that the Senate was committed to ensuring that revenue leakages were blocked to provide infrastructure for FCT.

In his contribution, Senator Gabriel Suswam commended the committee and the FCT minister, saying it was the first time they had a budget that clearly spelled out higher expenditure as against the current expenditure.

“We want to encourage the oversight function of the Committee on FCT to make sure the issue of infrastructure and security is attended to,” he said.

For Senator Barau Jibrin, the Committee on FCT has done a good job.

In his remarks, Senate President Ahmed Lawan thanked the Senate Committee on FCT, stressing that it was the character of the Senate to work day and night to put the report together..

“For the Senate to convene today, Friday, which is not a sitting day by our standing orders shows the commitment and capacity of the Senate to stand and deal with any matter that is of national interest.

“This is to show that we are interested very much in any issue that will make life better for every Nigerians. As the State Assembly for FCT, we have discharged our responsibilities, the next thing for FCT is to implement the budget,” Senator Lawan said.

He added, “We need to ensure this FCT is safe and residents and visitors alike can come in here and do their business in a very secure environment.

“I believe that we have done our job and what is left is for the FCT to take up its responsibility and for our Committee on FCT to ensure this budget is implemented.”

Meanwhile, the National Assembly has adjourned plenary until January 28, 2020.