The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has asked Nigerians to blame the Federal Capital Development Authority(FCDA)for the Parliament’s leaking roof.
Lawan who said this on Wednesday at plenary while ruling on a point of order raised on the matter by Senator Sabi Abdullahi said the FCDA was in charge of the maintenance of the structures in the National Assembly premises.
TheFact Nigeria Recalled that on Tuesday’ during the heavy rainfall, the roof of the white house where the two chambers of the National Assembly are, started leaking resulting to the lobbying been overtaken by flood.
Many Nigerians described the incident as a national embarrassment considering the amount of money that has been budgeted over the years for the rehabilitation of the same national assembly complex.
However, Lawan noted that those blaming the lawmakers were doing so in ignorance.
He added that the leadership of the National Assembly, sometime in 2019, met with the President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to rehabilitate the federal parliament.
He said the President approved N37bn for the rehabilitation of the edifice but that the FCDA was given the responsibility of doing so.
The senate president said, “The fact that there was a leakage to me, is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the national assembly took initially.
“Everyone knows that this place is overdue for rehabilitation. We went to see Mr President and he was gracious and he asked us to meet with FCTA, the owners of the building.
“Myself, the speaker, the late chief of staff and Minister of Finance met to look for money for the rehabilitation of the national assembly. When the N37 billion was approved it was not a national assembly budget, it was an FCDA budget.
“If this place leaks, we are not holding our democracy with the respect it has. We expect the press to inform the people responsibly
“This house is the house of Nigerians. It belongs to Nigerians and it deserves to be rehabilitated.”
Sabi, who is the Deputy Whip, had earlier said there was no leakage in the chamber but around the premises.
He said, “It was reported that because of that leakage, it delayed our sitting. That also was not correct. The leadership had housekeeping matters and until the leadership enters the chamber, sitting would not begin.
“Thirdly and the most critical, was that the leadership approved N37 billion for the rehabilitation. This is nothing further from the truth.”
“When the 9th Senate came on board, the leadership noticed dilapidation and the need for the rehabilitation of the national assembly complex.
“The Senate President and speaker approached Mr President to report this matter and we were all briefed that Mr President was willing to ensure that something is done about it.
“When the pandemic came, the N37bn was reduced to N9bn so we can take the rehabilitation in phases. As we speak nothing is being done.”