Members of the National Assembly (NASS) are set to relocate from their main chambers to temporary facilities for plenary, as the renovation of the complex begins.
The development is contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Labour to the NASS clerk, Adesoro Austen.
He confirmecd “As the renovation commenced, Senators will temporarily conduct plenary at Committee Room 022 on the ground floor of the New Senate Building, while House of Representatives members will use spacious Committee rooms on the ground floor of its new wing as plenary venue”.
Austen also confirmed that the contractor has 16 months to execute the job with alternate arrangements in place for the plenary.
He added that members of the House of Representatives are expected to utilize the halls on the first and second floors of the House of Representatives’ new building, adding that there was also a plan to use teleconferencing technology to link all lawmakers who might not be able to find seats in the Committee Room
The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad, represented by the acting Director of Public Buildings, Arc. Adebowale Ademo, in his remarks at the official handing over ceremony of the NASS complex revealed “The renovation will comprise the two plenary chambers of the National Assembly as well as the office buildings housing the office accommodation for the Senators and Honourable Members of the House of Representatives.
“The scope of what is to be done in this phase one of the works entails making the roof watertight. There have been several inconveniences of roof leakages experienced in the past and one of the major areas of attention is to redress the roof leakages and make the entire roof of the White House watertight.
“Next is the cooling system. Some of the Committee Rooms and central lobbies have faced challenges with temperature regulation because some of the chillers are out of service.
“The contract entails replacement of some of the chillers and rehabilitation of those that are in good condition to make them to work properly.
“We also have as part of the scope the replacement of lifts that are inoperable in the White House as well as in the House of Representatives and in the new Senate Wing.
“Beyond that also, work will be done in the toilet areas to make sure the plumbing and the equipment and fittings are in proper condition. In addition, work will be done to address challenges of the extra-low voltage equipment, the public address system and the fire safety installations.
“These works will entail rehabilitation and upgrading to make them state-of-the-art and ready for use looking at today’s technology.
“Most critical of all, in terms of what needs to be done, is the reconfiguration and the upgrading of the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“This reconfiguration works involve extending the sitting terraces to provide more comfortable sitting and also provide a worktop where the legislators can sit and work in a very comfortable manner.
“Beyond that also, the entire ambience of the space is going to be transformed and we are hopeful that at the end of the works, we will have a new and very efficient working environment for our Distinguished Senators as well as the respected Honourable members of the House of Representatives.
“In a nutshell, this covers the essential scope of what needs to be done and what is going to be done during this renovation works.
“As I said earlier, it is a major intervention. It is comprehensive and the intention is to restore this building to its original status and also to upgrade it so that the facilities and equipment therein will match any in any parliament in the world.”