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Again, National Assembly flooded as complex roofs continue to leak

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Again, National Assembly flooded as complex roofs continue to leak

For the second time in one month, the National Assembly has been confronted by flood caused by the leakage from the complex roofs.

Areas majorly affected were the central lobby at the White House section of the complex, which adjoins the Senate and House of Representatives chambers, the Senate Press Centre and the frontage of the United Bank of Africa, UBA.

The last time several parts of the complex were flooded with water from the leaking roofs, was Tuesday, June 22 when senators resumed from a week recess.

Like the previous one, many members of staff, journalists and visitors watched helplessly as cleaners from the two companies engaged by the National Assembly, had hectic time in controlling and cleaning the water.

It would be recalled that the leadership of the parliament had in the 2020 budget proposed N37 billion for the renovation of the complex, which generated public outcry, but at the end, the Presidency slashed the budget to N9.2 billion.

The N37 Billion proposal was done through the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, which owns the complex, built about 27 years ago, but no significant renovation had been done around the building due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The authorities of the FCDA had in a press statement after the last leakage informed the public that the total rehabilitation and upgrading of the National Assembly complex was in the pipeline.

The statement signed by the Head, Public Relations and Information, FCDA, Richard Nduul reads: “The attention of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has been drawn to the recent flooding of the lobby of the National Assembly Complex, Abuja resulting from leakages from the roof. Our findings indicate that the leakages are traceable to blockages of drainages leading to seepage of water through expansion joints in the roof slab.

“Full waterproofing of the roof of the White House building is a major aspect of the proposed renovation of the National Assembly Complex.

“The management of the National Assembly approached the FCDA in 2019 for a total rehabilitation and upgrading of the NASS complex to bring it in tune with parliamentary buildings around the world.

“This contract is currently undergoing procurement process in line with the Procurement Act of 2007 and will therefore be awarded as soon as it is concluded in conformity with the requirements of the Act and also considering all other relevant parameters.

“The Authority (FCDA), therefore, assures that when the time comes, this project will be executed meticulously in order to ensure that the nation gets value for the funds that will be expended as this has been the tradition with every other assignment which the Authority has undertaken.”

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Former Ogun First Lady celebrates 96th birthday

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Mama Lucy Onabanjo, wife of the first civilian Governor of Ogun State, the late Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo (Aiyekooto) celebrated her 96th birthday on Tuesday.

Lucy Onabanjo is the oldest surviving former first lady.

Born in Ijebu Ode on October 26, 1925, Mama Onabanjo was trained as a teacher.

It was after her training as a teacher that Lucy started dating the Late Bisi, who was working with a local newspaper called Gaskiya Tarfi Kobo (Truth is more than a Kobo).

Few months after meeting Bisi , she walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

The humble ceremony would blossom into a life of civil service from teaching to the Government House, Abeokuta and beyond.

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It’s illegal to pay petrol subsidy from federation account, Sanusi tells FG

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Former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, has said the federal government is indulging in illegality by paying petroleum subsidy from the federation account.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor spoke virtually as a panelist on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja.

He also said the Nigerian daily oil consumption data is suspect thus there is endemic corruption in fuel subsidy payments.

“This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues” he said.

He also advocated for the end of fuel subsidy and electricity subsidy, saying the money saved should be invested in critical sectors like education and health adding that the long-term gains far outweigh the short-term pains.

“I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy.

“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we are importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question, what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost double?” he asked.

He noted that “this is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, NNPC said they are importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number” he noted.

On electricity tariff, he said it should also be stopped as even poorer countries are paying cost reflective tariffs and enjoying uninterrupted electricity.

The Chairman, the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, also agreed that subsidy payments had to end for resources to be free up for critical investments.

He also said that the government must focus on education and healthcare provision.

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PHOTOS: South-west govs visit Tinubu

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