National Assembly decries theft of sewage covers, flooding in FCT
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Saturday, condemned what it described as “alarming”, the rate of theft of sewage covers across the Abuja and environs.
As stated by the lawmakers, the menace had exposed residents to danger, saying many people fell into dip sewage pits and sustained serious injuries, while some died because of absence of sewage covers particularly at night and early morning.
Specifically, the committee alleged that the sewage cover thieves collaborate with officials of the Ministry of the FCT in the nefarious activities.
The committee also lamented increase in flooding during the 2019 raining session in parts of the city.
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Rising from a joint session on the FCT 2020 statutory budget presentation to the two committees, Chairman of the Senate committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said illegal allocation of land in the city was the bane of the flooding in Abuja.
“The sewage covers that are virtually missing in the city has been a source of concern to pedestrians and motorists alike.
“I have heard stories of children falling into the sewage pit and being killed, so this is a source of concern to all.
“The second issue is flooding, there is also this believe that the reason why we have so much flooding in FCT is, because of illegal allocation of land that are on water ways or are not meant to be allocated.
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“We cannot sit down just because of self interest and put the lives of the citizenry at risk. I know the Lokogoma area, there was some allocation of building estates along water ways. You need to clear those areas because, you cannot put few people’s interest at the risk of the whole city.
“You need to explain those things in clear terms and let us see in clear terms in your 2020 proposals what you intend to do in that respect” Kyari said.
He explained that, there were a lot of questions and concerns raised on the 2020 budget proposals of the FCT, saying the committee would work for the next few days before presenting the budget to both chambers of National Assembly on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, who appeared at the first sitting on Friday, was conspicuously
absent on Saturday.
The Ministry presented a 2020 statutory budget of N232.8billion, but when compared with the 2019 appropriation of N243.3billion, there is a decrease of N10.4billion on the 2020 budget proposal.
The National Assembly also queried the performance of the 2019 budget of the FCT, saying the Ministry would not be needing a huge sum of money if it was not going to perform up to 50% of the allocation.
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