**To strip FERMA of role over FG roads
By Tordue Salem – Abuja
The House of Representatives has approved a total sum of N278.355 billion for the Federal Capital Territory and Federal Capital Territory Area Councils.
The House also approved a total sum of N238, 149,325,832.70 billion for the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to spend next year.
Reports for the approval of the sums for the separate agencies were presented on Friday at Plenary, by Chairmen of the Committees on Customs and FCT, Reps. Abdullahi Garba and Yuguda Kila respectively.
The breakdown of the budget for Customs shows that the sum of N98,606, 217,521.97, is for Personnel Cost, N15,952,305,336, 72 for overhead cost, while N123,590,802,974.40 is for Capital Projects for the year ending, December 2020.
The considered and passed budget for FCT shows a breakdown of Capital of N160,133,401,417 billion and a “Grand Total Recurrent and Capital of N278, 355,365,947billion.
The House also considered a report on a Bill, to establish a special Fund to carry out repairs on Federal Roads.
The Fund, if established, will hollow out the statutory essence, of the already existing Federal Roads Maintenance Agency(FERMA).
FERMA is the current agency, tasked by law to maintain Federal roads, using funds approved by the National Assembly and released to it, by the Executive.
The sponsors of the Bill, which is at its last stage to becoming a law, are Reps Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu) and Ossai Nicholas Ossai(PDP-Delta), Deputy Minority Leader and Chairman House Committee on Treaties and Protocols, respectively.
The money Bills were considered and approved by the Committee on Supplies (Panel on Financial/Expenditure Bills), headed by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase (Plateau-APC).
While the Special Roads Fund Bill, got the nod by a Committee of the whole(Panel on Non-Expenditure Bills), preparatory to its final consideration by a harmonisation committee, comprising of Senators and House of Representatives members before it is passed to the president to sign into law. That is expected to come in January 2020.