Following the news of a leaking roof in the National Assembly building on Tuesday, many Nigerians have reacted angrily after it was believed that N37 billion naira was used to renovate the building. Cleaners were pictured mopping water from the floor into buckets, images that were received with scorn, sarcasm, and mockery by many Nigerian commenters.
The Senate has however come out to deny that they received such amount of money for the renovation of the National Assembly building.
Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, said in a statement after plenary on Wednesday, June 23 that lawmakers are not responsible for the maintenance of the building.
“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 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,” he said.
While speaking during Wednesday’s plenary, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, lamented that the complex has not been upgraded in over 20 years.
The 62-year-old said Tuesday’s leak incident is a vindication of the National Assembly leadership’s well-intentioned effort to renovate the complex.
“If this complex leaks, the interpretation is we’re not holding our democracy with the respect it deserves.
“This symbol of democracy must be protected.
“This house is the house of Nigerians, not members of the National Assembly,” he said.
The Senate President called on the press to inform the public responsibly.