Saraki bemoans old National Assembly building inferno

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 3 June 2016 | 2,077 times

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has decried the fire incident that gutted the old National Assembly building in Lagos and described it as unfortunate.

Saraki in a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said it should be a matter of priority to secure and protect such important National Monuments from calamity as he noted that the state of maintenance of the historical parliament building must have led to the sad occurrence.

He said the building which currently houses the Zonal Offices of some government establishments occupies a vantage position in the political history of the country and therefore must continually be accorded the attention it deserves having once housed the highest lawmaking body of the country.

Saraki said: “It is regrettable that the Old National Assembly building has not been handed over to the management of the National Assembly to enable it supervise the maintenance of the building and equally ensure that those currently occupying the building observe safety rules that could have prevented this unfortunate incident. That building represents a major part of the history of parliamentary in Nigeria. It should have been preserved such that it serves as either a library or archive of parliamentary documents in our country.

“I think there is need for the relevant ministry to ensure that this incident is thoroughly investigated to unravel both the remote and immediate causes of the fire, in order to prevent future occurrence. We must also find a way of restoring the building,” he said.

While underscoring the importance of protecting national monuments, he said there is overriding need for both federal and state governments to improve their maintenance culture in all public buildings. The Senate President lauded the security and emergency response agencies like the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Fire Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Julius Berger Fire Service for their timely response to distress call and mobilisation to the scene to salvage the building.

•Photo shows Senate President Saraki.

Source: News Express

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