By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
- N7bn already appropriated is enough…Rejects N9 billion for the residence
ABUJA— STRONG indications emerged, Thursday, that the completion of the official residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo will suffer a major set back as the Senate vowed not to appropriate any kobo for the project.
The threat by the Senate came after an inspection of the project as part of the oversight function of the Senator Smart Adeyemi, PDP, Kogi West ,Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory.
Members of the Senate Committee could not hide their reservations having listened to explanations from the management of the FCT that an extra N7billion was required to complete the official residence of the Vice President, which was an addition to the N7.1bn already spent after being appropriated for by the National Assembly last year.
Senator Smart Adeyemi noted that no money would be appropriated again by the lawmakers for the same project aside the original seven billion that was appropriated to it.
According to him, since a design for the building was made and approved by the official of the FCT, that which the National Assembly appropriated funds for, other additional jobs being carried out on the building were not of concern to the legislature.
He said that the National Assembly strongly believes that seven billion naira already appropriated for the project was more than enough, adding that there were other numerous projects across the country begging for funds and that which will benefit the poor masses.
Senator Adeyemi stressed: “We will not appropriate any money even if the BPP approves, so you better play to our side, Nigerians money will not be used to pay for any additional cost.”
Earlier in his remarks while fielding questions from the Senators, the FCT Director of Public Building, the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Engr. Adamu Ismaila explained that the extra N7billion being sought by FCT would be spent on the execution of the complete scope of the project master plan, comprising furniture, fencing, security gadgets, banquet hall, among others.
According to him, the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), after examining the earlier N9 billion requested by the FCT, however, trimmed it down to N7 billion, which amounts to a total of N14 billion for the one story official residence of the Vice President.
Trouble reared its head between Julius Berger Plc and the FCTA when it was explained that Julius Berger Plc, the original contractor requested for the additional amount to enable it provide the additional facilities and infrastructure being accommodated in the complete master scope, but in a swift reaction, the Site Manager of the Julius Berger Plc however denied, insisting that it charged N7 billion for the project.