Thu, 18 Jul 2024

 

‘Conference Hall’ – Senators complain over poor quality of reconstructed Senate Chamber
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Tue, 7 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

Senators on Tuesday expressed anger over the condition of the reconstructed Chamber, which they described as a ‘mere conference room’.

Controversy has trailed the refurbished Senate Chambers since plenary resumed in the facility last week.

Last Tuesday’s plenary was trailed by confusion as some Senators quarreled over sitting arrangements in the renovated chamber.

During plenary on Tuesday, complaints over the standard of the Chambers led to a rowdy session which lasted for about 15 minutes and eventually forced the Senate into executive session.

The Chief Whip of the Senate and lawmaker representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, who raised the issues through Order 42 of the Senate Standing Rules, said, “What is supposed to be a Chamber, has been turned into a Conference Hall”, a development which he said is not acceptable.

“Mr President, I rise to make disturbing observations on this supposedly renovated Chamber through Order 42 that deals with personal privileges.

“Since day one, precisely last week Tuesday when we moved into this Chamber that is supposed to have been renovated, there have been complaints here and there.

“First was on sitting arrangements, followed by echoing of voices by microphones that are even not audible, no voting device, required facilities not yet provided.

“We need to correct all these anomalies for the hallowed Chamber to be what it supposed to be,” Ndume said.

Agreeing with Ndume’s observations, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, in his response, said the observations were well noted and the Point of Order upheld.

He however explained to Ndume that complaints on sitting arrangements among senators have been sorted out, just as he reminded him that the contract for the renovation work was not issued by the 10th National Assembly.

“This is not our contract and not even National Assembly contract but that of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, the landlord of the National Assembly Complex,” Akpabio said.

 

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