By Shola Abayomi.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who briefed reporters in Abuja.
Lawan lamented that many parts of the complex had become dilapidated as according to him, the property hasn’t been renovated since 1999.
He, however, noted that the funds recently approved by the president for the renovation of the complex was different from the N128 billion allocated for the National Assembly in the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
He explained that the money was part of the 2020 budget of the Federal Capital Development Administration (FCDA).
“We met the president and (it was) related the condition of the complex.
“The president responded and said he was going to renovate the complex. The phase one renovation will commence – the chambers and committee rooms in the white house.
“N37 billion was sourced and was given. It was put under the FCT, not national Assembly. All we required is to have the complex renovated.
“When we are through with phase 1, we will go to phase 2. It is not under the control of the National Assembly. The complex is a national asset and is for the FCDA to take care”, Lawan said.
The Senate President also revealed that the upper legislative chamber will approve President Buhari’s $29.96bn loan request which was rejected by the 8th Senate.
He explained that the Federal Government required the loan to provide critical infrastructure in the country.
He said, “The question of whether we will pass (approve) the loan request of the executive arm of government, yes, we will pass it. If we don’t have money and you have projects to build them, how will you provide infrastructure that you need?
“But one thing is that, we are going to be critical that every cent that is borrowed is tied to a project.
“These are projects that will have spillover effects on the economy and we will undertake our oversight so well to ensure that such funds are properly, prudently, economically and transparently applied on those projects.”