- The Nigerian Senate backs the N37bn budgeted for the renovation of the National Assembly complex
- Godiya Akwashiki, the Senate spokesperson, faults the court action initiated against the legislature by SERAP and other groups regarding the renovation project
- Akwashiki explains that the National Assembly has nothing to do with the renovation work which he says is being carried out by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA)
The Nigerian Senate has justified the N37bn voted for the renovation of the National Assembly complex in the budget, noting that the dilapidated condition of the National Assembly building required urgent attention.
Godiya Akwashiki, the Senate spokesperson and chairman of the committee on media and public affairs, on Monday, December 30, faulted a court action initiated against the legislature by the Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP) and other groups regarding the renovation project, The Guardian reports.
The Senator said who expressed shock at the of the legal action, explained that the National Assembly had nothing to do with the renovation work which he said was being carried out by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
“What is the outcry for, that they should not renovate the National Assembly, or what? I have said it before, that this issue has nothing to do with the National Assembly. It is all about the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). The building belongs to the FCDA, which built it. The FCDA management knows how much it needs to fix the complex which is in a dilapidated condition,” Akwashiki stated.
The Senate spokesperson disclosed that no amount from the National Assembly’s account will be used for the renovation because the whole project will be executed by the FCDA.
Akwashiki said he saw no reason for the court action by the groups because the structure has not been renovated for the past 20 years.
He stated that anybody interested in finding out why the federal government budgeted N37billion for the renovation should direct all inquiries to the FCDA.
The lawmaker, however, noted that leadership of the National Assembly could suggest that the renovation be done in phases over a period of time If Nigerians prefer that we spread the amount into subsequent budgets.
Meanwhile, as Nigerians condemn and reject the plan to spend N37 billion to renovate the National Assembly, the director of information of the legislative body, Rawlings Agada, has said the huge approved amount may still not be enough.
Vanguard reported that Agada said the assembly complex has been dilapidated for many years, stressing that there is a lot of renovation works to be done.
He added that there are fears that things might get out of hand if the renovation is not done. The National Assembly staff said the renovation project was approved following concerns raised by the management
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