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    Senate: N9B okayed for facilities repairs not released

    The Senate has said the Federal Government did not release the N9 billion approved for the renovation of the National Assembly complex in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

    Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, said this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.

    Basiru said the National Assembly is not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the complex.

    The statement reads: “Contrary to the widespread falsehood being peddled both in the mainstream and online media as a fallout of the reported incident of the leaking roof of the National Assembly Complex after a downpour on Tuesday, June 21, 2021, it is pertinent to inform the general public that the National Assembly and its leadership are not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the National Assembly Complex and they have not received N37 billion 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 N9 billion after the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Even with this reduction, the N9 billion or any amount is yet to be cash-backed or released to the National Assembly. None of these amounts 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 Authority (FCDA). 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 they fall into further dilapidation with the attendant huge cost of possible replacement.”

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