By John Ikani
The lobby of Nigeria’s national assembly again turned to a fishing pond during Monday’s heavy downpour.
Areas majorly affected were the central lobby at the White House section of the complex, which adjoins the Senate and House of Representatives chambers, the Senate Press Centre and the frontage of the United Bank of Africa, UBA.
Few weeks ago, a similar incident occurred, a development that caused altercation between the National Assembly and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
Even though the FCDA has last month issued a statement that the earlier leakage was as a result of a blockage of the rooftop of the complex, but apparently nothing was done to remedy the situation.
Like the previous one, many members of staff, journalists and visitors watched helplessly as cleaners from the two companies engaged by the National Assembly, had hectic time in controlling and cleaning the water.
What you should know
The contract for the building of the National Assembly complex was
awarded to ITB Nigeria on February 18, 1996 by the FCDA during the military regime of late General Sani Abacha at the cost of $35.18 million.
The first phase was completed in the 90s and the second phase was
completed between 1999 and 2007.
For over 20 years, the structure was not renovated. In 2019, when the new leadership of the National Assembly – Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila came to power, they approached President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to renovate the complex.
FCDA was mandated to send a budget to the National Assembly for the renovation of the complex since it is a national monument.
LEADERSHIP reports that a budget of about N37 billion was approved for the renovation of the National Assembly complex but several outcry by Nigerians truncated the project.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020, the budget for the renovation project was further reduced to N9 billion without cash backing.
With the consistent leaking of the National Assembly complex’s roof , the chairman, Committee on Senate Services, Senator Sani Musa, said they have been calling for the renovation of the national assembly but that people who apparently had no idea of the decay in the complex opposed it.
Also, the spokesman of the Senate, Ajibola Basiru, said contrary to the
widespread falsehood being peddled both in the mainstream and online media as a fallout of the reported incident of the leaking roof of the National Assembly Complex few weeks ago, the National Assembly and its leadership were not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the complex.
He added that they never received a sum of N37 billion naira or any amount for the renovation of the Complex.