July 12, (THEWILL) – The lobby of the National Assembly complex on Monday virtually resembled a fish pond following a heavy downpour in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The downpour again exposed the faulty assembly roof as the foyer of the White House segment of the complex was completely flooded.
A similar incident, had last month caused a row between the National Assembly and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
Although the FCDA had issued a statement that the earlier leakage was as a result of a blockage at the rooftop of the complex, Monday’s incident apparently indicated that nothing had been done to remedy the situation.
The water was leaking directly from the roof while journalists and photographers were busy taking pictures of the scene.
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 the 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 2007 and 1999.
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.
THEWILL reports that a budget of about N37 billion was approved for the renovation of the National Assembly complex but outcry about the exorbitant cost 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 in the media as a fallout of the reported incident of the leaking roof of the National Assembly a 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.
THEWILL reports that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, while speaking on the issue, said the leaking complex was a vindication on their part.
“The fact that there was a leak to me is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the National Assembly took initially,” Lawan said.