The rehabilitation of the National Assembly Complex is to gulp a whopping sum of N30.222billion, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Mallam Musa Mohammad Bello has revealed.
The Minister revealed this on Thursday in Abuja during his oversight tour of some ongoing projects carried by the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory.
A total of N37billion was in December 2019 appropriated for the rehabilitation work by the National Assembly but later 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 of which N 9, 200, 000, 000billion has been paid, the remaining balance of N21.025billion to be paid to contractors handling the works .
According to him, in terms of duration, the contract was awarded on December 30, 2021 and has a 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 from 1996 to 1999 by ITB Nigeria Ltd without any major rehabilitation works carried out on the building over the years.
Bello 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 were rehabilitation of the 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 the 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 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 further said that it was the intention of the ministry that as the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration rounds off, a number of projects would be completed.
“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 Senator 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.”