THE Federal Capital Territory has, again, presented the sum of N2 billion for the completion of the official residence of Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
The amount, presented in the 2013 budget, was in addition to the N1 billion earmarked in the 2012 budget for the same project, situated at Aso Drive.
This was just as the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said that no law can stop the demolition of 31 estates in the Federal Capital Territory.
He made these disclosures while presenting the FCT 2013 National Priority Project before the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, on Tuesday.
The minister put the 2012 budgetary allocation of ministry at N46.2 billion, adding that total payment to date was about N31.7 billion, while the balance of N496 million was under process.
While the minister claimed that the 2012 budget performance of his ministry, based on the amount accessed, was 99 per cent, a breakdown of the 2013 proposal contained some duplications of the outgoing years.
An example is the design and construction of the residences of the presiding officers of the National Assembly that would gulp additional N300 million, apart from the N1.5 billion earmarked for the same project in the 2012 budget.
Among the beneficiaries in the National Assembly are the Senate President and his deputy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy.
The 2013 budget breakdown also showed that the ministry made a proposal for the procurement of security equipment worth N500 million and construction water facilities at the cost of N5.6 billion.
Senator Mohammed also said the FCT Ministry would go ahead with the planned demolition of 31 estates within the FCT.
When reminded of the subsisting court order which barred him and the ministry, he retorted, “Which law? Which law are you talking about? We have the responsibility to enforce the Master Plan. The FCDA has a law and the Abuja Master Plan is not compromising.
“I have a law on demolition. The law I don’t have is the one the chairman asked on the issue of parking. But for demolition, I have the law and I don’t even have to interfere with Development Control Law under the Land Use Act.
“You see, two wrongs don’t make a right and for us to allow an exclusion of an exercise of impunity or lawlessness, we are not going to condone this for any reason.
“They have given a lot of sentiments as a politician; I am a civil servant. We have to go through the process”, he said.
The threat by the minister to demolish the 31 estates was in spite of a subsisting court order and another one by the Senate which both forbade him from further demolition of buildings in Abuja and its environs.
The FCT administrators had, last September, demolished a housing estate containing 500 buildings mostly owned by civil servants in Lugbe and Satellite Town.