Senate defends N37bn NASS renovation budget

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The Nigerian Senate has described as misplaced the public outcry against the leadership of the National Assembly over the proposed renovation of the nation’s parliament complex by the Federal Government at a whopping cost of N37bn.
The Acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Godiya Akwashiki, who stated this in an interview in Abuja, said National Assembly leadership played no role either in the approval, the execution or the cost of the project.
Akwashiki further explained that the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, did the right thing by informing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), when the building was giving signs of an imminent collapse.
His words, “The public outcry against the leadership of the National Assembly on the issue of the N37bn National Assembly complex renovation project is not only misplaced but unnecessary and unwarranted.
“The building is the property of the Federal Capital Development Authority. The N37bn budget for its renovation is not even part of the 2020 budget of the National Assembly.
“It is the responsibility of the leadership of the National Assembly to inform the President of the country about the state of the complex and the dangers that the dilapidated condition poses to users of the building.
“The Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives have done what is expected of them by informing President of the country that the building was about to collapse.
“It is the function of the FCDA, being owners of the complex, to invite experts and building technologists who will assess the condition of the building and come up with a realistic solution.
It is when they are convinced that the experts, based on their submissions, are capable of handling the project, that contracts would be awarded, following due process.

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