Funds for NASS renovation yet to be released: Senate

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Funds approved for the renovation of the National Assembly is yet to be released, Senate spokesperson, Surajudeen Basiru, said in a statement on Wednesday.

He was reacting to backlash that greeted the roof leakage of the lawmaking arm of government on Tuesday.

He said although 37 billion was earlier approved for repairs, the amount was reduced to N9 billion due to the Coronavirus pandemic and that the leadership of the National Assembly is not responsible for the renovation of the complex.

“Contrary to the widespread falsehood being peddled both in the mainstream and online media as a fall out of the reported incident of the leaking roof of the National Assembly Complex after a heavy downpour on Tuesday, 21 June 2021, it is pertinent to inform the General Public that the National Assembly and its leadership is not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the National Assembly Complex and they have not received a sum of 37 billion naira or any amount for the renovation of the Complex,” Mr Basiru said.

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“While it is true that an initial appropriation of the above-stated sum was made due to the decaying nature of the National Assembly Complex which has not witnessed any major maintenance or overhauling since construction, the said amount was reduced to 9 billion naira after the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even with this reduction, the sum of 9 billion or any amount is yet to be cash-backed or released to the National Assembly. None of this amount is even appropriated for the National Assembly bureaucracy or its leadership.

“It must be reiterated that the National Assembly Complex is a National Monument which falls under the purview of control of the Federal Capital Development Agency. In essence, the FCDA is responsible for its maintenance as well as renovation and not the Leadership of the National Assembly as being falsely bandied about.

“The leakage witnessed at the foyer of the National Assembly yesterday (Tuesday) justifies the apprehension of the leadership of the National Assembly and the FCDA and further underscores the need for an urgent intervention in revamping the dilapidated structures within the complex before it falls into further dilapidation with the attendant huge cost of a possible replacement,” he added.

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