The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has said that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will need a total sum of N21.029 billion to complete the ongoing renovation of the National Assembly complex.
Bello stated this during an oversight visit embarked upon by the Senate Committee on FCT to the FCTA.
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, who said that the contract which was awarded on December 30, 2021 to be completed in 16 months at the sum of N30,229,290,830.35, added that the amount paid as at this Thursday stood at 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 parkway from the National 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 priority to some projects in the city 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 of the Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, who led the committee members on the oversight visit, said: “what we have seen is quite impressive.
“We believe that in the twilight of this administration, in the next months, 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 the Senate will ensure all priority projects were given the due attention.