OrderPaperToday – members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday raised the alarm over the non-functional Air Condition (AC) system in the green chamber.
The lawmakers therefore called on the Federal Capital Development Administration (FCDA) to commence immediate repairs.
The lawmakers complained of the extremely hot atmosphere that made it unconducive to carry out legislative activities on Tuesday. The above was sequel to a point of order raised by Dederi Haruna Isa (APC, Karaye / Rogo).
While raising his point of order before the House, the lawmaker addressed the speaker, saying: “Sir Order 7 of the rules of this House has given you powers to absolutely control whatever goes on to preserve decorum. To preserve the atmosphere within which we should operate.
“We are suffocating because the place is extremely hot. In my opinion sir, we could have a way of either adjourning the business of the day or give time so that the air conditioners can be out in proper shape. Whatever thing that you can do to save us from this physical situation in which we live.”
In his response, the presiding officer, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, commended the lawmaker and assured that something was going to be done about the non-functional Air Condition (AC) system.
Mr. Speaker added that “it is a good point and it is something I just conferred with the deputy speaker. So, that is why I said read your title and go to your prayers. This is to enable the House take the motion straight to question and run through it as quickly as possible. I was considering that the House had a couple of matters under consideration for the Committee of the whole.”
On his part, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Aninri/Awgu/Oji River), who is the Deputy Minority Leader, alluded that it was not just the air conditioner that had a fault but that the whole infrastructure in the chamber needed to be fixed.
The principal officer said: “Mr. Speaker, I also want to make mention that we are also challenged infrastructurally here. The other time we were fairly embarrassed by the roofs that were leaking and would expect that the landlord and the owners of the structure which is the FCDA would take appropriate action to make sure that we stay in a very clement environment to do our business.
“Because essentially most of the time Nigerians misread the occupants to be the person responsible for the structure. So if you look around you find out that this structure is heavily challenged apart from the cooling system. So I think in addition to that appropriate action should be taken by the FCT administration to make adequate repairs and maintain the structure.”
Accordingly, the Speaker again directed the Clerk of the House of Representatives to communicate with the appropriate authority to ensure everything was put in perfect shape. “Please write a formal letter to the Permanent Secretary enumerating these issues. This building belongs not to the National Assembly but to the FCT and they should make it conducive for us,” he directed.
He also asked the Clerk to “make sure that the AC here is working tomorrow. We have to begin the debate of the budget and we cannot do it under this condition. It is very important and very imperative that it is working tomorrow”.
Recall that OrderPaper Nigeria had severally reported on the infrastructure decay in the National Assembly. For instance, we have reported on the leaking roof between the Senate and House of Representatives leading to disruption of plenary activities.