After a member of the House Representatives, Bamidele Salam, openly opposed the plan to spend N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex, two other lawmakers have also publicly condemned the plan.
PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday reported how Mr Salam, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State said the complex renovation is a misplacement of priority.
On Sunday night, Akin Alabi, a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) representing Egbeda/Ara Federal Constituency of Oyo State shared a similar view on Twitter.
“I see no reason why we should spend N37b renovating the National Assembly. Yes, we need an upgrade on some aspects like the electronic systems (sound system, voting system etc) as they are outdated but N37b? No. Let’s spend that on our schools and hospitals.”
Another lawmaker, Ochilegor Idagbo, representing Bekwarra/Obanliku/Obudu Federal Constituency of Cross River said the complex needs no renovation that would cost the country N37 billion.
“As a member of @nassnigeria, I don’t believe that the complex needs any renovation that would cost the country N37bn. We need more upgraded classrooms and hospitals to cater for the Nigerian people,” his tweet read.
Messrs Alabi and Idagbo confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES in telephone interviews that they authored the posts.
The N37 billion Allocation
According to the 2020 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the renovation of the National Assembly complex is set to gulp ₦37 billion.
The allocation was first mentioned by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who said Mr Buhari approved the amount after lawmakers met with him to explain the poor condition of the legislative building in Abuja.
Many Nigerians on social media have continued to criticise the government for the allocation. Some activists and civil society groups have also taken the government to court on the allocation.