The Senate, through its committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has commenced an aggressive oversight of projects executed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The projects are too numerous and will take only experts to know whether the funds released for the jobs that are currently ongoing are justifiable.
The National Assembly Complex, which is one of the monuments being maintained by the FCTA is undergoing a renovation.
The renovation project which is being handle by the Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA) has been a source of controversy in the past.
In 2019, the National Assembly management pushed for the renovation of the complex and after approval, the project was stalled following public outcry.
In 2021, the rooftop of the complex began leaking. Not only that, some other segments of the building began to wear-out.
The leaking of the roof of the national assembly building was like a vindication to the lawmakers who had earlier pushed for the renovation.
A contract of about N30 billion was awarded for the renovation that should last for 16 months.
While the work is ongoing, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello said that the administration need a total sum of N21.029 billion to complete the ongoing National Assembly complex renovation.
The minister said the National Assembly Phase II project popularly known as “the White House ‘’ was built from 1996 to 1999 by ITB Nigeria Ltd adding that no major rehabilitation work has been done since then.
Bello said that the contract which was awarded December 30, 2021 to be completed in 16 months with the tune of N30, 229, 290, 830.35, said the amount paid is put at N N9,200,000, 000.
“The commencement date is April 16 and the project is expected to be completed August 15, 2023,” Bello said while listing some other priority projects embarked upon by the administration to include rehabilitation of Federal Secretariat complex, construction of southern park way from Christian Center to ring road.
Others he said were rehabilitation of the expansion of the Outer Southern Expressway, provision of engineering infrastructure for Wuye District, rehabilitation and expansion of Outer Southern Expressway Villa Roundabout and completion of B6, B12 and Circle Road in the Central Area.
He explained that the ministry gave some projects in the city priority over others due to scarcity of funds.
“What we did was because of the scarcity of funds, we prioritised key infrastructure projects to get them completed.
“And in deciding the ones that fit into that category, we looked at the ones that will give the maximum benefit to the maximum number of people.
“All the four projects we visited, you find that they are all road projects that are meant to link one section of the Abuja city to another and that is the whole idea.
“The masterplan has been designed in such a way that they complement each other.
“So if you finish one portion and you don’t do the other one, then you don’t get the full utility of that particular road, “ Bello added.
Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Sen Tolu Odebiyi, who led the committee members said: “what we have seen is quite impressive.
“We believe that in the twilight of this administration, in the next month, it is important we catalogue all the projects that are being done and prioritise the ones that must be completed before the end of this term.
“This is so that we can also make sure we provide the adequate funding and budget for it.
“Their budget is going to be forwarded to us very shortly and it is important we come and see the state of the work and the completion rate of the programme before we take them on,” Odebiyi said, adding that they will ensure all priority projects are given the due attention.
Most Nigerians hope that the renovation of the national assembly complex should finish within the 16 months.w