Nigeria: Despite N30bn Renovation, Senate Chamber Lacks Voting Devices - Ndume

2024-05-08 19:04:01


Nigeria: Despite N30bn Renovation, Senate Chamber Lacks Voting Devices - Ndume

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Ali Ndume (Borno South) has criticized the newly renovated Senate chamber, stating that it lacks essential amenities such as voting devices and resembles more of a conference hall than a legislative chamber.

His comments come just a week after the Senate and the House of Representatives moved back into their main chambers, which had been under renovation since 2022, costing over N30 billion to refurbish.

Ndume raised the issue during plenary on Tuesday, citing deficiencies in the chamber such as the absence of voting devices and inadequate microphones.

Last Tuesday, there was a disagreement over seat allocation to senators in the main chamber, leading to a rowdy session. The Senate subsequently held an emergency closed-door session and adjourned to yesterday, May 7, after addressing the matters on the agenda for the day.

"Since day one, precisely last week Tuesday, when we moved into this chamber that was supposed to have been renovated, there have been complaints here and there. The first was on seating arrangements, followed by the echoing of voices by microphones that are even not audible. There is no voting device; the required facilities are not yet provided. We need to correct all these anomalies for the Hallowed Chamber to be what it is supposed to be," Ndume stated.

In response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio explained that complaints regarding sitting arrangements among senators have been largely resolved, clarifying that the renovation contract was awarded by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), not the National Assembly.

"Observations on inadequacies in the renovated Chamber are welcome from time to time for required perfection, but what we should be aiming at in the long run is for us, as federal lawmakers, to have proper autonomy on the National Assembly Complex and not continue as tenants of FCDA," Akpabio stated.

Recall that the renovation contract was awarded in March 2021 to Visible Construction Limited by the FCDA to rehabilitate critical segments of the National Assembly complex. During the renovation period, senators conducted their legislative business in another hall within the National Assembly complex.

2024-05-08 News