APC chieftain opposes N37bn NASS renovation, blasts lawmakers

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and one of its 2019 presidential aspirants, Dr. Abubakar Alkali, has condemned the move by the National Assembly to renovate the complex with N37 billion as listed in the 2020 budget.

Dr. Alkali said the money can not be justified by the current levels of poverty and homelessness in the country.

Speaking with our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, the APC chieftain said the right thing to do “is to stop the so-called renovation of the National Assembly because that’s not a priority.”

According to Alkali, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) had alerted the nation that 108 million Nigerians are technically homeless.

“The estimated 100,000 houses built yearly are inadequate but our federal legislators have voted N37 billion to renovate their offices, the federal staff housing loans scheme couldn’t source for N13 billion to give out as loans to federal civil servants.

“The right thing to do now is to stop the so-called renovation of the National Assembly because that’s not a priority. The N37 billion should be channeled to building houses for low-income civil servants and other vulnerable Nigerians at the ward levels across the country so as to reduce the huge and rising housing deficit in our dear country.

“The N37 billion budget for the ‘renovation’ of the National Assembly cannot be justified by the current astronomical levels of poverty and homelessness in Nigeria. There is currently a huge housing deficit in the country. Renovation of the National Assembly is not the priority.

“Is this a renovation project or another form of budget padding?

“Indeed, our federal legislators cannot allocate N37 billion for renovation of their offices when more than 50% of Nigerians are homeless. Most of our Internally displaced persons (IDPs) have no roofs over their heads and are sleeping on bare uncovered floors. They are the priority.”

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