•••As Reps query FCT for spending N55m to build gate house,
CSO, ADC houses for N288m each
By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has queried the Minister of the FCT, Muhammed Bello, for spending N55 million to build gate house in the official residence of the Vice President.
The Committee also flayed the FCT administration for building a mosque that could accommodate only 12 persons for N96 million and a small chapel which will take care of only 20 persons for N86 million at the VP’s residence.
Chairman, House Committee on FCT, Rep Herman Hembes, who expressed worry over what was described as reckless expenditure in the award of contracts in the FCT when the minister appeared before the committee to defend its 2016 Budget proposal, ordered the stoppage of some of the alleged bloated contracts.
The Hembes Committee noted with regret the proposed contract for the building of the Vice President’s aide-de-camp, ADC’s residence for N288 million, the same amount also to build the residence of the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of the Vice President.
The Committee Chairman wondered what was spectacular in the gate house to warrant the N55 million even as he expressed dismay that work had stopped at the Vice President’s official residence by Julius Berger after allegedly collecting about N6.8 billion out of the contract sum of N7 billion.
The Committee further alleged that the multi-national company abandoned the National Assembly principal officers official residences awarded for N24 billion after about N12 billion was alleged to have been paid.
But the FCT minister, who was not part of the award of the contracts, said that his administration would abide by any decision taken by the committee especially as it concerned the continuation or stoppage of work at the Vice President’s residence.
He, however, said it would be very difficult for the FCT administration to change everything over night.