Workers mopping the National Assembly Complex after downpour
Cleaners hired by a facility firm to maintain the White House complex of the National Assembly had hectic time scooping water from on the floor of the federal Parliament on Tuesday.
Federal lawmakers, parliamentary staff, journalists and visitors to the apex legislative institution watched helplessly as rainwater fell from the ceiling of the White House during a downpour.
The White House, which accommodates the two chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, was completed in 1999 during the regime of the late maximum ruler, General Sani Abacha.
The cleaners, numbering about 20, were immediately drafted to the lobby to scoop the water from the flooded part of the edifice.
The leaking roof also spread to the Press Centre in the Senate wing of the nation’s apex legislative institution and also disturbed staff of private firms, especially banks located on the ground floor of the complex.
The development delayed the sitting of the senators, who resumed on Tuesday after a one-week break to mark the end of their second legislative year.
The leadership of the National Assembly in 2020 approved N37bn for the renovation of the edifice, built about 27 years ago.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, last year, said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), was aware of the planned renovation of the National Assembly complex this year.
He disclosed then that N37bn had been included in the Federal Capital Development Agency 2020 budget for that purpose.
Lawan, however, said the project would be executed by the FCDA because the National Assembly was a national monument.
He said, “All we require is to have the National Assembly complex renovated, including the reconfiguration of the two chambers and of the press centre.
“We have the opportunity after 20 years to embark on the renovation of the phase one building of the National Assembly; when we are through with phase one, we will go to phase two.”
Lawan noted that the National Assembly complex is a national asset being managed by the FCDA
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the renovation of the complex which was to be in phases, had not started as of Tuesday.