By Christiana Ekpa
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Bamidele Salam (Osun PDP) has described the proposed N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly Complex as not necessary considering the fact “the country needs to create job opportunities for its youths”.
Rep. Salam who disclosed this while speaking to some reporters said, he of the opinion that the fund should used to renovate and build more class rooms and hospitals.
He said “ I am a member of the House of Representatives but I sincerely do not think we need a 37 billion Naira renovation of that edifice now”
According to him, “Apart from the Chambers of NASS which need some upgrade in the audio & recording system, the entire structure needs no renovation more than our classrooms, hospitals and roads which are mostly in a decrepit condition.
“As an advocate of an aggressive microcredit strategy for job creation, I would rather want to see 370,000 small businesses get 100k interest free loan within 12 months rather than have 1 edifice swallow that sum within the same period.
“If we mop up all funds voted for renovations of the Presidential villa and other offices of political leaders and top civil servants, we will raise more than a quarter of a trillion Naira that can be injected into SMES in the coming year.
While stressing that it is never late to change a wrong policy, he said “will, by God’s grace, be making this open advocacy on the floor of the House of Representatives when the House reconvenes in January”
Another lawmaker who spoke to Daily Peoples on the phone and do not want his name in the print, equally described the proposed renovation as waste of money and wasteful exercise, adding that the leadership of the House all to have used their closeness to the executive to bargain Better deals.
According to him, “we need to visit and revisit this issue when we resume, we can’t be borrowing so much and wasting a lot of money as the same time. Come to think of it, how much was the entire project of the complex when it was built? He questioned!
When asked why he did not want our reporter to quote him, he said, at the right time I will stand up on the floor of the House and speak my mind for Nigerians to know my position but before that since we are working for interest of one nation and party I need to speak to my colleagues, even the leadership of the House.
He stressed that the members cannot afford to be on the same page with the leadership of NASS if Nigeria must move forward.