National embarrassment: NASS building gives way under heavy downpour
Posted by News Express | 22 June 2021 | 315 times
•Senate President Ahmad Lawan
By SAMUEL OGIDAN, Abuja
What could be described as a national embarrassment hit the parliament on Tuesday, as the 23-years-old National Assembly building gave way to a heavy downpour, which disrupted the activities in the upper chamber.
Massive downpour caused leakage in the roof of the “white house,” which housed the two chamber of the National Assembly building.
The development rendered many lawmakers stranded for some minutes before the rain subsided.
The lobby of the Assembly was practically impassable at 11am as cleaners were immediately mobilised to divert the water and clean up the place.
During the period the public embarrassment lasts, senators, were forced to wait at the lobby for many minutes before proceeding to the chamber for Tuesday plenary which began 30 minutes behind schedule .
Aside the lobby, adjourning areas around the white House, including the Press Centre use by journalists, the United Bank of Africa (UBA), and others were soaked with water from the leaking roofs.
Staffers of the Thyaura company, the official cleaners in the National Assembly battled to clean and control the water as the intensity of the rainfall increases.
It would be recalled that serious criticism trailed the approval of N37 billion in the 2020 budget for the renovation of National Assembly complex.
Reacting to the criticism, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan had said, “when we resumed office (at) the National Assembly Complex, we noticed that many parts of the National Assembly complex were dilapidated.
“We convened a meeting involving the management of the National Assembly, the Federal Capital Development Authority, Speaker of the House of Representatives and I.
“We had an exhaustive engagement. The Speaker and I later met with Mr. President and we told him the situation of the complex.
“Since the takeover of the complex, there was never, ever, any major rehabilitation or renovation, 20 years ago.
“Mr. President responded by telling us that he was going to renovate the National Assembly.
“We went back to continue the engagement with the National Assembly management and the FCDA.
“Eventually, we took what is required to renovate the phase one of the project.
“This includes the two chambers, the dome and other committee rooms and offices within the White House.
“N37bn was sourced and was approved and put under the FCT, not under the National Assembly.”
Lawan, who had said that the project would be executed by the FCDA because the National Assembly is a national monument, added that “all we require is to have the National Assembly complex renovated, including the reconfiguration of the two chambers and of the Press Centre.
“We have the opportunity, after 20 years, to embark on the renovation of phase one (of the) building of the National Assembly. When we are through with the phase one, we will go to phase two.
“The National Assembly complex is a national asset being managed by the FCDA.” (Daily Independent)
Source: News Express
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