THE House of Representatives has called on the Executive arm of government to make adequate provisions in the 2012 budget for urgent repairs of the Nigeria House in the United States (U.S.) in order to save the country from further embarrassment.
Adopting a motion introduced by Sokonte Davies, the lawmakers noted that the Nigeria House which was conceived to be the nation’s face in the United Nations has never undergone any meaningful repair work or renovation since its construction, leading to the non-functioning of its cooling and heating systems.
“This situation has brought opprobrium to our image and shall make unrealistic our aspiration to occupy strategic position in the United Nations, and particularly our quest to be accorded a permanent non-vetoing sit in the UN Security Council,” Davies said.
He recalled that the allocation of the plot of land to Nigeria by the United States authorities on the same street where its mission to the United Nations is located is in recognition of Nigeria’s preeminent place “as the leading nation in Africa and one of its strategic partners.”
The lawmaker however noted that in view of the negligent state of the building, the United States authorities once prevented all Nigerian Heads of Government, including our current President Goodluck Jonathan from entering the building due to safety and security concerns as the structure does not have any alternative route to make emergency evacuations.
Davies told the House that the 21-storey building could have been put to better use, especially revenue generation for the country, if it was well maintained. He lamented that the building has lost its attractiveness to the extent that the only tenant it has, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in New York, has issued a notice to terminate its tenancy.
Davies further informed the House that “of the 21-floor of the building, only 12 are used and at that marginally. Though a diplomatic building, it could still be used for revenue generating activities.”