Plans have been concluded to demolish the entire complex currently housing the LagosÂ State House of Assembly P.M.NEWS has learnt.
Starting from Tuesday next week, a part of the building would be brought down whileÂ the other part would be demolished later, a source close to the leadership of theÂ House confirmed.
The building, which houses the sitting chambers, offices of the Speaker and theÂ other 39 members, the offices of the Clerk, Deputy Clerk, and other civil servantsÂ in the House was constructed by Alhaji Lateef Jakande, while he was governor of theÂ state in the 80s.
The source said that the building, which is obviously one of the best House ofÂ Assembly complex in the country, is to be pulled down for an L-shaped building whichÂ would showcase the pride of the state.
â€œThe part of the structure where the civil servants have their offices would beÂ brought down as soon as the contractors complete a part of the L-shaped buildingÂ that would represent the first letter of Lagos.
â€œWhen this is done, the members of the House would relocate their offices to theÂ newly constructed part of the building while the civil servants would move to theÂ offices previously occupied by the politicians pending the completion of the entireÂ project,â€ the source said.
Asked the time frame expected for the completion of the project, another source whoÂ craved anonymity said it would be within a year.
He said: â€œThe money for the project has been made available to the contractor andÂ the first phase will be completed in six months while the other part will be startedÂ after that.â€
He said the L-shaped building would only house the offices of the staff of the HouseÂ of Assembly as well as the legislators as another complex which is to serve as theÂ Assembly chambers, with two halls and offices of media correspondents andÂ information officers, would be opened by the State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, inÂ December.
Chairman of the ad hoc Committee on Information in the House, Hon. Ipoola Omisore,Â who also spoke on the development, told P.M.NEWS that â€œthere is a master plan forÂ the complex so that by the time it is completed it would be one of the best inÂ Nigeria.
â€œThough this one was built by Jakande, as it is today, only few Houses of AssemblyÂ can still match it, but being the State of Excellence, we are desirous of settingÂ the pace. What we expect is a master-piece that only Lagos can be proud of.â€
Asked if he does not consider the project a waste of public fund since the currentÂ complex had not shown any signs of old age, he maintained: â€œWhen you talk of waste,Â it is relative. A state that makes about N18 billion a month cannot be compared toÂ Ondo State that makes about N500 million. If such a state is embarking on this kindÂ of a project, you can call it a waste, but for us that are thinking of matching theÂ expectation of a mega-city status, we have not even done enough.
â€œIf Ekiti State is building what we are building, then they may be short-changingÂ their people.
â€œWe just came back from the state of Indiana in the US and the chamber there, as oldÂ as 100 years, is better than the Governorâ€™s office here. What we are building doesÂ not even match the chamber in Georgia, which was built over 300 years ago.
â€œWe went to Kenturky and when we got to the Capitol there, we bowed. The Governorâ€™sÂ office is there, the Assembly and Speakerâ€™s offices are there, the Chief Judge isÂ there, all in one block. So all these fight between the executive and legislature isÂ not there because they are in the same building.
â€œWhat we are trying to do is set the pace. What we have in the poorest state in theÂ US cannot be compared to the National Assembly.
Asked when the project would be completed, Hon. Omisore said it is a continuousÂ project. â€œIt is not even designed to be completed during our time, so I will not beÂ surprised if some of us donâ€™t even use it,â€ he stressed.