By Bature Dan-Inni, Abuja
The National Assembly (NASS) does not need the N37 billiion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for renovation, a member of the House of Representatives has said.
Bamidele Salam, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Ede federal constituency, said the complex does not need any renovation more than the classrooms, roads, hospitals that are in bad state across the country.
“As a member of the National Assembly, I am opposing the plan to spend N37 billion on the renovation of the National Assembly Complex,” Salam wrote on Sunday in a Facebook post.
There has been a nationwide outrage since President Muhammadu Buhari approved the amount for the renovation of the complex.
He proposed that the money be channeled towards creating more jobs and giving out interest- free loans to small scale businesses.
He said, “I am a member of the National Assembly but I sincerely do not think we need a 37 billion Naira renovation of that edifice.
“Apart from the Chambers of the NASS which need some upgrade in the audio and 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,” he added.
The member also added that he would advocate a change of the policy when the house of representatives reconvenes in January.
He said, “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,” he said.
“I will, by God’s grace, be making this open advocacy on the floor of the house of Representatives when the house reconvenes in January. It is never too late to change a wrong policy,” he added.