Utter embarrassment and outrage were the words from Nigerians when pictures and videos emerged recently of workers in the National Assembly scooping water with buckets and dustpan shortly after the rains as the roof of the National Assembly began to leak.
It was the main lobby of the legislative complex – between both chambers – that had water dripping from the roof to other parts of the building.
Since then, it has been a blame game galore . The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has asked Nigerians to stop blaming the federal lawmakers for the non-rehabilitation of the National Assembly which led to the leaking of its roof. He explained that the Federal Capital Development Authority(FCDA) was in charge of the maintenance of the structures in the National Assembly premises.
This Newspaper recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved N37 billion in 2019 for the rehabilitation of the National Assembly. The move then sparked outrage among Nigerians. It IS, however, doubtful if the money was subsequently released and used for the purpose it was approved. For it cannot be imagined that a complex which gulped so much in rehabilitation just two years ago can so rapidly deteriorate with leaking roofs
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, the video of the leaking roof despite huge budgetary allocations to the legislature every year is a sad commentary on the nation”s maintenance culture and the image of the country as a whole. This development has placed a big question mark on whether the legislative arm of government or whichever agency responsible for the maintenance of the complex is alive to its responsibility. That complex is one of the landmark structures in the capital city of Abuja and a symbol of the nation’s democracy
Nigerians have accused the lawmakers of using the dilapidated state of the structure as a ploy to blackmail the executive to ensure the release of more money, especially the N37 billion, to rehabilitate the National Assembly complex.
This whole episode has again brought to the fore the poor maintenance culture in Nigeria . According to experts, lackadaisical attitude of Nigerians on maintaining infrastructure has negatively affected the quality and services drivable from the structures and by extension affect the development stride of the nation.
It is not only the National Assembly complex, many public buildings and facilities like airports, schools , roads in Nigeria are in deplorable state which can be attributed to the poor maintenance culture in Nigeria.
For instance, the National Stadium in Abuja was built in 2003 at the sum of N54 billion . However, the magnificent edifice which was meant to serve as a home ground for the Super Eagles has been abandoned. Weeds have taken over the stadium .The Super Eagles have not played in the Abuja stadium now renamed Moshood Abiola Stadium for several years no thanks to the unusable pitch which has deteriorate due to the poor maintenance of the edifice.
Similarly, a trip to the federal secretariat in Abuja would only compound ones misery . Most of the toilets are unfit for human use and facilities have deteriorated considerably.
Unfortunately, the nation’s airports are not left out of this national embarrassment. The stench coming out of the toilets are most times the welcome message one gets at both the local and international wings. It is reminder of the low level value we accord our monuments.
Regrettably, in the opinion of this newspaper, monies are budgeted every year to reconstruct roads which deteriorate after some months no thanks to use of inferior materials and poor maintenance culture. This menace has been the stark reality in almost every facet of the nation”s life and has impacted very negatively on national well being.
In view of the foregoing, we call on the federal government to institute a probe into the monies budgeted for servicing and renovating the National Assembly in recent years . This show of shame must be put paid to. We insist that no new funds should be allocated to renovate the NASS complex under any guise.
This ugly episode playing out from the National Assembly is a litmus test for the war against corruption into which so much energy and resources have been committed by the federal government in the current administration.
No Contract Awarded For NASS Leaking Roof – FCDA(Opens in a new browser tab)