Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the N37 billion claimed to be for the renovation of the National Assembly complex as an “unpardonable rip-off plot” and a last straw of the “brazen corruption that pervades” the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The party said it is indefensible for the Presidency to propose a whooping N37 billion for renovation work on the National Assembly complex, which was built at the cost of N7 billion naira.
In a statement on Tuesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party insisted that the over 500 percent “padding” of the original construction cost, is completely insupportable even with the prevailing costs and exchange rate regime.
The PDP said development has already spurred public outcry and raised apprehension of plots to divert the fund for political Interests of certain APC leaders.
“The over bloated renovation figure is therefore not only sacrilegious but also further confirms that the APC-led administration is overtly corrupt and only out to steal, drain and divert our national resources for selfish purposes of certain individuals in the present administration,” the PDP said.
The party insisted that such corruption is unacceptable in a nation confronted by alarming economic downturn, extreme poverty, hunger, decayed infrastructure and security challenges.
It further noted that the N37 billion was already embedded in the budget of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) as approved by President Buhari. The party added that this has left the President with the burden of explanation.
The PDP charged President Buhari to demonstrate the integrity of his approval by immediately publishing a detailed breakdown of the renovation project in line with his recent directives to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“President Buhari is challenged to immediately publish the details of the individual renovation lines, amount and reason for each payment as well as the contractors, beneficiaries and payment patterns for Nigerians to see, if indeed the money has not been detailed for diversion.
“The party charges the National Assembly to stand on the side of the people by using its statutory legislative instruments to thoroughly scrutinize the FCDA budget and eliminate all embedded padding designed to fleece our nation,” the PDP added.
– The Nation