By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Wednesday, blasted members of the National Assembly over leaking roof and flood during sitting.

The CSOs reacted over Tuesday’s heavy rainfall that halted sitting at lower and upper chambers of the National Assembly that also caused flooding in the complex due to leakage from the roof.

Speaking with Vanguard on the issue, CSOs called for stringent measures to ensure there is no recurrence of the embarrassment witnessed at NASS complex on Tuesday.

 Shameful, reflects sub-standard contractors — CAAPA

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The Director of Programmes, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, Philip Jakpor, said, “It is shameful that despite whopping billions of Naira allocated to rehabilitation of the National Assembly complex yearly the flooding incident could happen. It is not a tornado or hurricane that hit the complex. It is just a few minutes of heavy rain and see how it exposed them.

“What it reflects is either our lawmakers are inflating figures and diverting the monies or they are deliberately soliciting the services of quack contractors who procure substandard materials. Someone or some people are not doing their job or look the other way.

“Whichever way, they are not justifying tax payers money. It is our money. Unfortunately we operate in a system where no one is held accountable. They owe us an explanation.

“Yes it is time to carry out an audit of the sums they have been getting for rehabilitation of the complex and what they have used them for.

“We must also look into the processes of selecting contractors and the procurement processes. We should not settle for lame excuses.”

NASS roof leakage, flood show sign of Nigeria leaking — OLF

The Founder and President, One Love Foundation, OLF, Patriot Patrick Eholor, said: “When I read on social media about the leakage experienced yesterday at the National Assembly, I simply smiled because I was not surprised at all.

“The country is leaking, that’s just the sign. There is no roof covering Nigeria in the hands of this wicked politician The umbrella is broken..The broom can’t sweep anymore.

“For crying out loud, I’ve said it repeatedly that we need reforms to checkmate corruption at all tiers and arms of government.

“For our National legislative complex (NASS) to be leaking during raining season is a monumental disgrace to us as Nation; and all these brouhaha is happening under the watch of ‘Mr. Integrity’.

“Yearly, billions are been budgeted  by the same legislatures for the maintenance of the complex but the systemic corruption by both the leadership of National Assembly and the management of the complex is responsible for this avoidable national embarrassment that has ridiculed the nation once again.

“You can see that no arm of government is exempted from this act of corruption and financial rascality being experience under this dispensation.

“It is the masses that are suffering the evil being perpetrated by these people – treasury looters. The masses are the real victims because our leaders don’t care. #39 billion for renovation and we are still seeing leakages. It is a shame.

“Honestly, I think it should be investigated properly by bringing to book the contractors that handled the renovation. We cannot continue to destroy our nation by promoting mediocrity and shame. Enough is enough!”

It’s national embarrassment — CDNDC

Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CDNDC, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said, “It is instructive to say that the embarrassing leakage that we saw and the flooding that happened was uncalled for.

“It is a national embarrassment to see that the National Assembly has no maintenance regime in place or a likely breach of arrangement with a facility maintenance firm.

“The poor management of the National Assembly facility is also a reflection of the kind of leadership in the saddle, and it is not good enough that both political leadership and bureaucracy allowed this to happen.”

NASS needs maintenance manual — HOMEF

The Director, Health For Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Arc Nnimmo Bassey, said, “The news of the flooded National Assembly complex merely underscored the depth of infrastructural problems in the country.

“Some of the interesting bits of information about the shameful occurrence is that although NASS has taken over the running of the complex, they ceded the refurbishment to the FCDA.

“If the NASS does not have a works or maintenance department that handles complex renovation tasks, they should at least have a system that is proactive and have sufficient arrangements to avoid the sort of embarrassment that the world has witnessed. It is obvious that the leakage that turned to a deluge must have been noticed when it started but was left to grow over time.

“Conceivably this was one of the reasons the NASS budgeted the humungous sum for the renovation of the complex. If that is so, the question is why the legislators had to wait until the situation resulted into what we have seen.

“Our famed poor maintenance culture must be curtailed. We cannot continue to wait until things fall apart before we scamper about for often questionable solutions and contracts.

“The say goes that to whom much is given, much is also expected. While one may be stretching the issue, we have reasons to wonder whether the shabby handling of the simple maintenance of a physical structure does not give us reason to worry about the readiness or capacity of the NASS in discharging its oversight functions over the performance of agencies of government or even constructing a national constitution that can serve the best interests of Nigerians.

“The maintenance of buildings, from the smallest shack to the most complex structures, is something that should be routine. It is never wise to wait for your car to break down before you check to see if it required servicing. Just as machines have maintenance manuals, so should buildings. If the NASS complex has no maintenance manual, it is time that they request for one from the design consultants and from those who made specialist installations in the complex.

“A building maintenance manual would say when roofs should be checked for loose bolts or failing water proofing elements. The manual would also say when metal parts should be checked for rust, when walls should be repainted, when wooden parts would require polishing or painting, when floor finishes would require attention and when electrical and mechanical installations should be routinely maintained.

“One excuse we have heard for the delay in maintenance of the complex is that a minister raised questions over the project at the Federal Executive Council meeting and this necessitated a delay. Is it not obvious that if the needful had been done on time there would enough time for questioning and responding to the process of project delivery?

“The NASS management should fully accept the blame for this show or shame. Indeed, they should apologize for showing the entire world the sorry attitude we have to the maintenance of national infrastructure and treasures.

“It would be helpful for the NASS to review maintenance expenditure budgets over years to be see exactly why the complex has been so badly maintained that it now requires the level of refurbishment that is being contemplated.”

NASS should critically examine amount really spent on renovation of Complex —CISLAC

The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Awual Ibrahim Rafsanjani said, “We want to call on all the relevant authorities handling the renovation of the NASS complex to follow the existing lay down procurement laws and processes in the award of the contract to ensure value for money, transparency, and accountability.

“More so, this embarrassment caused by leaking roof should not be seized upon by NASS and FCDA to subvert the law in the award of the contract. We are aware that some Honourable Ministers made comments that appear to question the cost of the renovation when the matter came up during a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

“For this reason, we call on NASS and FCDA to speed up the process without compromising the need for transparency and accountability to avoid future embarrassment as we are fully in the rainy season.

“We call on the anti-corruption agencies such as EFCC, ICPC, BPP to be on the watch out for any fraud in the process of warding and implementation of the project.

“We still want to emphasize that only a relevant part of complex that requires renovation should be considered at the moment due to dwindling resources available to the nation as more pressing needs such as the dilapidated primary health care centres, classrooms, and other essential facilities that the common man uses should also be prioritized.”

What happened shows current state of Nigeria — CN

The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, said, “It is expected to happen like that at the National Assembly because it is overbloated, and by now we should be running a unicameral system of government in Nigeria because we do not have the resources to fund the two chambers of the National Assembly, by now we should have one building we should be talking about. This thing that happened shows the current and decaying state of Nigeria

Again it comes to question the quality of people that are in the National Assembly, and this is the same National Assembly that legislative workers and aids are being owed salaries for several months, and for us we are not surprised that such a thing happened; this is a rubberstamp, anti-people and worst legislature in the history of Nigeria.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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