Lawmakers wait at lobby as NASS roofs leak under heavy rain

Lawmakers wait at lobby as NASS roofs leak under heavy rain Roofs of the White House segment of the National Assembly built about 30 years ago caved in Tuesday during heavy downpour with water leakages from several points in and outside the hallowed chambers.

The intensity of the roof leaking which started at about 10:30am , prevented many senators from entering the chamber for legislative business just as the entire lobby and adjourning areas around the White House , including the Press Centre used by journalists, were soaked with water.

As staffers of the Thyaura company, official cleaners in the National Assembly battled to clean and control the water, and as the intensity of the rainfall increased, senators were forced to wait at the lobby for many minutes before proceeding to the chamber for Tuesday plenary which began 30 minutes behind schedule.

The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, entered the chambers at exactly 11.00 to preside over the plenary attended by many senators.

Apart from the lobby, other parts seriously affected include the Senate Press Centre and the United Bank of Africa, UBA which were filled with water from the leaking roofs.

Signs that the building constructed by Arab Contractors during the late General Sanni Abacha military regime required urgent rehabilitation, had been showing at different segments of the structure in the last 10 years.

The federal government in an attempt to address the ugly trend, earmarked the sum of N37 billion for renovation of the complex in the 2020 budget .

But public outcry against the money considered to be bogus by some concerned Nigerians, made the federal government to cut it to N18billion during the review of the 2020 budget, caused by COVID – 19 pandemic .

It is not clear whether the N18billion was given 100% cash backing in the implementation of the 2020 budget.

Efforts made to speak to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Amos Ojo Olatunde , proved abortive as at the time of filling this report.