From John Akubo, Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Mallam Musa Mohammad Bello has disclosed that total money to be expended on rehabilitation of the entire complex of National Assembly is N30.222billion.
The FCT Minister stated this Thursday during oversight tour on some ongoing projects carried by the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.
The amount, which is included in the 2020 budget, is however not part of the N128 billion allocated for the National Assembly for next year. The money is instead part of the 2020 budget of the Federal Capital Development Administration later the amount was downwardly reviewed to N9.25billion in the revised 2020 budget.
But the Minister told the Senate panel that contract sum for the rehabilitation work is N30, 229, 290, 830.35billion out which N 9, 2billion has been paid, remaining balance of N21.025billion to be paid to contractors handling the works .
According to him , in terms of duration, the contract which was awarded on Dec. 30, 2021 has completion date of August 15, 2023 , having commenced on April 16, 2022.
He stated that the National Assembly Phase II popularly known as “the White House” was realised d from 1996 to 1999 by ITB Nigeria Ltd without any major rehabilitation works carried out on the building over the years.
He listed 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 are rehabilitation of expansion of 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 Central Area.
He however said scarcity of funds made the FCT administration to prioritize some of the projects in terms of full execution .
“What we did was because of the scarcity of funds, we prioritized key infrastructure projects to get them completed.
“And in deciding to 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 master plan 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 further indicated that the ministry’s is to a number of projects are completed before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Some of them we intend to develop them to a level whereby the next team should be able to do it.
“Ultimately, the objective is to make Abuja a vibrant city; a city where people will feel comfortable; where there wouldn’t be traffic gridlock and where facilities will work.”
On his part, Chairman Senate Committee on FCT Sen. Tolu Odebiyi ( APC Ogun East), 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.
“Like any other project, we will make sure all the projects that require priority are given the due attention like any other project.”