Fred Itua, Abuja
Few months after it approved N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex, the National Assembly is battling to resolve its insurance cover.
Already, it has lost insurance cover for its entire building valued at over N73 billion. Public Servants in the National Assembly, as well as other insurable assets like vehicles, machinery and equipment, have also lost their insurance cover.
The first phase of the National Assembly was built in 1998 at a cost of nearly $35.18 million (N12.7 billion)
In 2007, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the award of the construction of the National Assembly complex phase 3, part 2 at the cost of almost N23 billion.,
In the 2020 budget, N37 billion was appropriated for the renovation of the ‘White House’ part of the building, which accommodates the chambers of both Senate and the House of Representatives.
It was learnt that the parliament lost its insurance cover for its buildings, vehicles and staff because it has been unable to settle over N2 billion insurance premium liability.
A document obtained by newsmen from authorities in the National Assembly details the total insurance premium liability of the National Assembly till date: “Senatevehicless – N716,660,142.60; House of Representatives vehicles – N430,357,518.63; Management vehicles- N170,964,052.50; Group Life Insurance Scheme (Staff)- N736,356,157.10: Total: N2,054,337,870.83.
Technically, this entails that the National Assembly no longer has insurance cover based on the policy of no premium, no cover.
The matter, according to the document, has in the recent past been raised before the body of Principal Officers of the National Assembly, but yet to be addressed.
The document which drew the attention of the Principal Officers to the development, revealed how the failure to provide for the insurance in past budgets has exposed the institution of the National Assembly to danger.