Plans have been concluded to demolish the entire complex currently housing the Lagos  State House of Assembly P.M.NEWS has learnt.

Lagos House Assembly.

Starting from Tuesday next week, a part of the building would be brought down while  the other part would be demolished later, a source close to the leadership of the  House confirmed.

The building, which houses the sitting chambers, offices of the Speaker and the  other 39 members, the offices of the Clerk, Deputy Clerk, and other civil servants  in the House was constructed by Alhaji Lateef Jakande, while he was governor of the  state in the 80s.

The source said that the building, which is obviously one of the best House of  Assembly complex in the country, is to be pulled down for an L-shaped building which  would showcase the pride of the state.

“The part of the structure where the civil servants have their offices would be  brought down as soon as the contractors complete a part of the L-shaped building  that would represent the first letter of Lagos.

“When this is done, the members of the House would relocate their offices to the  newly constructed part of the building while the civil servants would move to the  offices previously occupied by the politicians pending the completion of the entire  project,” the source said.

Asked the time frame expected for the completion of the project, another source who  craved anonymity said it would be within a year.

He said: “The money for the project has been made available to the contractor and  the first phase will be completed in six months while the other part will be started  after that.”

He said the L-shaped building would only house the offices of the staff of the House  of Assembly as well as the legislators as another complex which is to serve as the  Assembly chambers, with two halls and offices of media correspondents and  information officers, would be opened by the State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, in  December.

Chairman of the ad hoc Committee on Information in the House, Hon. Ipoola Omisore,  who also spoke on the development, told P.M.NEWS that “there is a master plan for  the complex so that by the time it is completed it would be one of the best in  Nigeria.

“Though this one was built by Jakande, as it is today, only few Houses of Assembly  can still match it, but being the State of Excellence, we are desirous of setting  the pace. What we expect is a master-piece that only Lagos can be proud of.”

Asked if he does not consider the project a waste of public fund since the current  complex had not shown any signs of old age, he maintained: “When you talk of waste,  it is relative. A state that makes about N18 billion a month cannot be compared to  Ondo State that makes about N500 million. If such a state is embarking on this kind  of a project, you can call it a waste, but for us that are thinking of matching the  expectation of a mega-city status, we have not even done enough.

“If Ekiti State is building what we are building, then they may be short-changing  their people.

“We just came back from the state of Indiana in the US and the chamber there, as old  as 100 years, is better than the Governor’s office here. What we are building does  not even match the chamber in Georgia, which was built over 300 years ago.

“We went to Kenturky and when we got to the Capitol there, we bowed. The Governor’s  office is there, the Assembly and Speaker’s offices are there, the Chief Judge is  there, all in one block. So all these fight between the executive and legislature is  not there because they are in the same building.

“What we are trying to do is set the pace. What we have in the poorest state in the  US cannot be compared to the National Assembly.

Asked when the project would be completed, Hon. Omisore said it is a continuous  project. “It is not even designed to be completed during our time, so I will not be  surprised if some of us don’t even use it,” he stressed.

—Eromosele Ebhomele

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