Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the flooding of the National Assembly Complex is a “clear” confirmation that the edifice needs repairs.
Lawan said this on Wednesday on the senate’s floor after Sabi Abdullahi, senate deputy majority whip, drew the attention of his colleagues to the report of flooding in the complex.
There was flooding in the main lobby of the assembly after a heavy downpour on Tuesday.
The senate president said the edifice is long overdue for rehabilitation, adding that since it was built there has never been major repairs on it.
“The fact there was a leak to me is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the national assembly took initially,” he said.
“Everyone knows that this place is overdue for rehabilitation. We went to see Mr President and he was gracious and he asked us to meet with FCTA, the owners of the building.
“Myself, the speaker, the late chief of staff and minister of finance met to look for money for the rehabilitation of the national assembly. When the N37 billion was approved it was not a national assembly budget, it was an FCDA budget.
“If this place leaks we are not holding our democracy with the respect it has. We expect the press to inform the people responsibly.
“This house is the house of Nigerians. It belongs to Nigerians and it deserves to be rehabilitated.”
Earlier, Abdullahi said it was false to report that the chamber leaked or the downpour delayed the plenary session.
“In that report, three things were reported that were very inaccurate, that there was heavy downpour or leakage in the chamber. That was not correct. There was leakage around the premises,” the Niger senator while moving a motion.
“It was reported that because of that leakage, it delayed our sitting. That also was not correct. The leadership had housekeeping matters and until the leadership enters the chamber, sitting would not begin.
“Thirdly and the most critical, was that the leadership approved N37 billion for the rehabilitation. This is nothing further from the truth.
“When the ninth senate came on board, the leadership noticed dilapidation and the need for the rehabilitation of the National Assembly Complex. The senate president and speaker approached Mr President to report this matter and we were all briefed that Mr President was willing to ensure that something is done about it.
“When the pandemic came, the N37 billion was reduced to N9 billion so we can take the rehabilitation in phases.
“As we speak nothing is being done.”
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