Ndume and Poor Renovation of National Assembly

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, last Tuesday revealed how the National Assembly was poorly renovated with the main chamber lacking facilities that were available in the old chamber after N30billion spent.

The Senate recently resumed plenary in its main chamber after over two years of sitting in a temporary hearing room.

The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) had in March 2021 reportedly awarded a N30 billion contract to rehabilitate critical segments of the National Assembly complex to an indigenous firm.

At Tuesday’s sitting, Ndume criticised the structural outlook, arrangement of chairs, sound speakers and other equipment in the chamber.

Ndume said: “This is not a chamber; it is like a conference room. You will not even know that it is me, Ndume that is speaking; so also, when the leader was speaking.”

He also complained that electronic voting devices that were available in the old chamber are no longer in the renovated chamber.

“There is no voting device here, if we are to vote electronically, the facilities are not there, but we had that previously.

“There is no clock here for senators to see the time. Okay, they are trying to show me one and I am looking for it, it is not even clear. There used to be a big one,” he said.

Ndume also complained that microphones and sound speakers in the chamber were not audible.

“This is a serious observation. If you play back the record, you cannot identify Akpabio’s voice, you have to listen hard, but the audio is supposed to be very clear,” he added.

But in a swift response, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the leadership of the 9th Senate led by Senator Ahmad Lawan and the authorities of the FCDA should be blamed for the observed lapses.

It is a shame and embarrassment to Nigeria that N30billion, which can be judiciously utilised by some countries to build a new National Assembly Complex with the state-of-the- art facilities, was wasted on poor renovation of Nigeria’s National Assembly.

Who will hold the leadership of the 9th Senate and the FCDA to account for this embarrassment? When will the culture of wasteful spending and unbridled corruption end in Nigeria?

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