By Donald Iorchir
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has so far paid the sum of N57.6 billion to contractors handling various projects in the Federal Capital Territory in the areas of water provision, roads and railway construction as well as health, education and environmental sanitation structures and services.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, who disclosed this on Wednesday during a press briefing, said there had been massive return of contractors to site following these payments.
Bello, who spoke through the Director of Treasury, Malam Isiaku Ismaila, said the Administration put in place strategic plans to ensure that all on-going projects that conform to the Abuja Master plan were completed.
According to him, indigenous contractors who were owed N100 million and below have all been paid, especially those with matured bills that
were provided for in the statutory budget, adding that funding for these payments were mobilised through transparency, diligent and judicious
management of funds without leakages in the system.
He said “627 indigenous contractors being owed N100m and below, who have matured bills and which provisions were made in the statutory
budget were paid the sum of N6.9b in the last quarter of 2016.”
The minister said “another N3.3 billion has been paid to 403 other contractors with bills less than 100 million in the first quarter of 2017,” adding that, happily, from the last quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, the number of liability is coming down, in fact more than 50 per cent because there were some that their bills were not matured as at the time we were making payments in December; so, we felt that every contractor within the statutory year who has been able to perform and shown good faith on site is able to raise bills.”
“Road construction, city cleaning and environmental sanitation are being given adequate attention by the current FCT Administration as they are seen as very critical to the capital city.
The Minister also disclosed that funds have been fully released for the health insurance scheme of all FCTA workers, while all counterpart funds
have been appropriately paid to development partners of the FCTA.”
He disclosed that in order to access funds for counterpart projects in the FCT, the Administration has so far made payments of N2.4 billion being part of its obligation to on-going counterpart projects.
Malam Bello revealed that the FCT Administration had so far released the sum of N7.009 billion to contractors handling the Abuja light rail project, saying that the first phase of the project would be completed and ready for use by January 2018.
“The Administration has also concentrated efforts and reasonable resources in the provision of pipe borne water in the FCT. There has been no delay in the provision of chemicals, maintenance of pipes and distribution of water in the FCT. So, far the Administration has no pending payment for contractors handling projects in that sector.”
He said the relationship between the Administration and the Area Councils had become a role model where the Administration had so far released 100 per cent of the Joint Area Councils Allocation Committee (JAAC) funding to the six Area Councils, adding that payments of teachers’ salaries were also up-to-date in line with JAAC principles.