National Assembly’s leaking complex raises concern
By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja
The torrential that fell in many parts of the country on Wednesday took its toll on the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
Workers of the assembly lined buckets to scoop water dripping from the roof and mopped the floor to dry the complex.
This has become a usual occurrence since the beginning of the rainy season.
Although the lobby of the complex was not flooded, as it used to be, because the rain was not heavy, the assembly’s cleaners mopped the floor to rid the floor of the rain water that was flowing into the area to keep it dry.
Some offices were also lined with buckets to collect dripping water.
Lawmakers and workers had to meander around areas that did not have puddles.
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In the House of Representatives’ chamber, stains on the walls and roof showed evidence of leakages.
Although the rain did not stop the lawmakers from sitting, it drew concerns from some lawmakers.
House Minority Leader Ndudi Eleumelu voiced the concern during plenary.
The lawmaker said the situation posed a risk to the safety of his colleagues and asked that something be urgently done to address the situation.
A total of N134 billion was budgeted for the National Assembly this year, but its leadership had claimed that the renovation of the complex is the responsibility of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
Last June, when there was a downpour that flooded the lobby and offices in the complex, Senate President Ahmad Lawan had said that upon resumption in 2019, he and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the building and discovered its dilapidation.
He said it was based on this the budget of N37 billion was arrived at and sent to the Presidency for necessary approval for the rehabilitation of the complex.
Lawan said the money was reduced to N9 billion but had not been released.
He added that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA) was directly responsible for the renovation of the National Assembly.
Senate spokesman Surajudeen Ajibola had also stressed that the National Assembly administration and its leadership were not responsible for maintaining and renovating the complex but the FCDA.
The spokesman said the complex had not witnessed any major maintenance since it was constructed.
He stressed that even with the reduction of the expected N37 billion for the rehabilitation of the structure to N9 billion, the money was not released.
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