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US$102m for National Assembly renovation in Nigeria

Nigeria has recently announced that they are investing US$102M into the renovation of the National Assembly complex in Abuja when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2020 budget. More details of the government’s spendings were first given on Monday by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who stated that Mr Buhari approved the amount after lawmakers met with him to explain the poor condition of the legislature building in the country’s capital. The plan to use the equivalent of US$102 million on repairing just one building at a time key infrastructure, hospitals and schools across the country are in terrible shape, has angered many Nigerians. Many have questioned how much would be required to build a new National Assembly if mere repairs cost that much.

Whereas the National Assembly votes that much for its own building, all that is set aside by the government for capital projects by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA)  the agency saddled with repairing broken federal roads across Nigeria, is US$100.5M. Even though the Federal Ministry of Works oversees the building of all federal roads, it is FERMA that is in charge of their repairs. Both offices have struggled with poor funding over the years and have left hundreds of roads in the country in disrepair. Recently,  Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, gave a statement that the government owed contractors working on federal road projects up to US$862bn.

Also read: Slow going at Nigeria’s US$1.5 billion Ede Power Substation project

Mr Lawan, the Senate President, while speaking to journalists said that no major renovation had been done on the National Assembly property for 20 years and many parts of the property had become dilapidated.

However, it was also reported that while money may not have been assigned specifically for the renovation of the building, the National Assembly has received multiple funding for improved infrastructure since 1999.

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