Ahmed Lawan, senate president, has said the national assembly complex belongs to Nigerians and deserves to be renovated.
Lawan said this on Wednesday, in reaction to what many Nigerians have described as a national embarrassment, after video footages emerged on Tuesday, showing the lobby of the complex being taken over by rain water due to leaking roof.
The senate president urged Nigerians to stop bashing the national assembly management over the development, saying the building belongs to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
Also reacting to the media reports on the incident, deputy chief whip of the senate, Sabi Abdullahi, raised a point of order, saying the reports breached the privilege of the lawmakers.
He clarified that the FCDA is in charge of the maintenance of the complex, and not the lawmakers as against the belief of many Nigerians.
The senate deputy chief whip noted that the N37 billion earmarked for the renovation of the National Assembly complex in the 2020 budget was reduced to N9 billion in the revised one.
He lamented that nothing has been up till now.
Lawan stressed that the roof leakage confirmed the position of the lawmakers that the building is due for renovation.
“The fact that there was a leakage to me is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the national assembly took initially,” he said.
“Everyone knows that this place is overdue for rehabilitation. We went to see Mr President and he was gracious and he asked us to meet with FCTA, the owners of the building.
“Myself, the speaker, late chief of staff and minister of finance met to look for money for the rehabilitation of the national assembly.
“When the N37 billion was approved, it was not a National Assembly budget, it was an FCDA budget.
“If this place leaks, we are not holding our democracy with the respect it has. We expect the press to inform the people responsibly.
“This house is the house of Nigerians. It belongs to Nigerians and it deserves to be rehabilitated.”