Monday, November 28, 2022

Senate orders contractor to speedily complete N30 billion NASS project

The renovation work covers the senate and reps chambers, dome in the White House, office construction and library.

• November 12, 2022
Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate floor used to illustrate the story (Credit: Twitter)

The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has ordered Visible Concept, the construction firm handling the N30 billion renovation work at the National Assembly, to speedily complete the projects.

Smart Adeyemi, the committee chairman, gave the order at an on-the-spot assessment of the projects by committee members with the executive secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Ahmad.

The FCDA had in March awarded contracts for rehabilitating critical segments of the complex due to serious dilapidation of the National Assembly complex.

The segments included the hallowed chambers of the senate and the House of Representatives, the dome in the White House, and the construction of the office of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) and library at the cost of N30 billion.

Mr Adeyemi noted that though the renovation works being carried out at both chambers were commendable, the slow pace of work was very worrisome.

He said the January 2023 deadline for delivery of transformed hallowed chambers was no longer feasible except for a miracle.

“This project must not be abandoned in any way. The hallowed chambers are expected to be completed and delivered by the end of January 2023.

“But the level of work seen here today is not pointing at that which, to us, is a threat to our legislative duties and functions.

“Non-completion of this project at designated times is even a threat to democracy itself because we don’t want the incoming government to inherit it as an abandoned one.

“So, this committee wants to know the challenges confronting the contractors as regards expeditious execution of the projects,” he said.

Mr Adeyemi also told the executive secretary of FCDA to get in touch with the minister for more funds for the contractors.

“As executive secretary of FCDA and Chief of Staff to the Minister, you have heard the contractor. Please give them more money for this project because we don’t want to hand over problems to the incoming government.

“Even if it is bond to be taken from a bank, let it be done for timely completion of the project, please.

“For us in the national assembly, we want well-transformed hallowed chambers to be handed over latest by April 2023,” he said.

On his part, the site engineer, Visible Concept, Tajudeen Olanipekun, asked for more funds to complete the project in good time.

He said that fluctuations in the value of the naira to the U.S. dollar had been problematic for them in importing required materials and equipment, coupled with the need for more mobilisation funds from the FCDA.

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