Another member of the House of Representatives, Armaya’u Abdulkadir, has expressed his opposition to the N37 billion National Assembly Complex renovation project.
The legislator, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, represents Dutsin-ma/Kurfi federal constituency of Kastina State.
Mr Abdulkadir joins three other Nigerian lawmakers who have expressed their displeasure over the project amidst decaying infrastructure in the country.
According to the 2020 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the renovation of the National Assembly complex will 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 have criticised the government for the allocation.
Four federal lawmakers have now condemned the development.
It started with Bamidele Salam, representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State, who disclosed that the complex renovation is a misplacement of priority.
After his open criticism on the project, two other lawmakers, Akin Alabi, representing Egbeda/Ara Federal Constituency of Oyo State and Ochilegor Idagbo, representing Bekwarra/Obanliku/Obudu Federal Constituency of Cross River shared similar views which were reported by PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Abdulkadir in a statement on Monday evening said N37 billion is a huge sum that can transform thousands of lives if channelled into proper use.
His statement was sent to PREMIUM TIMES by Mr Salam. He said the only ‘renovation’ needed urgently at the assembly is an upgrade of its audio recording system.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I want to make myself clear as a legislator representing the good people of Dutsin-ma and Kurfi that my conscience is not in line with this development. N37 billion is a huge sum that can transform thousands of lives if channelled into proper use.
“Even though I am into my first year at the NASS, but I have gone round to know that apart from the two Chambers which need a bit upgrade in its audio recording system, the entire building requires no renovation whatsoever.”
Mr Abdulkadir also said we are “making a mockery of the fight against corruption which we claimed to be fighting.”
“With our classrooms, hospitals and roads mostly in a sorry state and our youths unemployed in thousands, with the terrifying security challenges we are currently facing; there is indeed need for a RETHINK.”
Like Mr Salam, the Katsina lawmaker also disclosed that he would make his case against the issue when they reconvene in January.
“We will raise our voices collectively and call on the leadership of the NASS and President Muhammadu Buhari as well, to dwell on what is necessary in addressing the plight of Nigerians rather than spending this lot on just NASS renovation,” his statement read.