Despite widespread reports, the Senate on Wednesday disclosed that the N9 billion approved in the 2020 Appropriation Act for the renovation of the National Assembly complex was never released by the Federal Government.
This was disclosed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
The chambers of the NASS complex became flooded due to a leaking roof after a heavy downpour.
In his reaction, Basiru said the National Assembly is not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the complex.
An excerpt from his statement reads, “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.
“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 N9 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.”