ABUJA – The Deputy Senate President, Senator  Ike Ekweremadu, has said that the National Assembly has concluded plans to complete the N52 billion permanent site for the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS).
This is contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser (Media) to the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja.
The statement stated that Ekweremadu made this known when he inspected the project located on Musa Yar’Adua Way, Airport Road, Abuja.
Ekweremadu said the project, when completed, would become the hub of parliamentary training in Africa.
According to him, building capacity of parliamentarians are paramount to survival of democracy in Nigeria and other African countries.
He also said the project would help save cost, stressing that the National Assembly had started domesticating trainings rather than sending parliamentarians to other countries.
“We are training a lot of our parliamentarians and parliamentary staff abroad, but we felt it is not sustainable. So, we are beginning to domesticate our trainings.
“For instance, we are working with the Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC, to set up a centre in Nigeria.
“ We are already working with the University of Benin and the National Open University on various Degree programmes in legislative studies,’’ he said.
Ekweremadu was conducted round the project by the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria, Mr Detlev Lubasch.
The deputy senate president said that the project could not meet the April 2015 completion target due to shortfalls in funding.
He said the project would be self-sustaining in the next few years after completion.
Ekweremadu, who is also the Chairman of NILS’ Governing Council said: “this has been the major project of the National Assembly for the past few years as it is exclusively funded from our budget.
“ So, in addition to our overhead costs, this is exactly what has been taking the chunk of the National Assembly funds for several fiscal years.
“As you can see, what we have here is a state-of-the-art facility that will have an ultra-modern library in the like of the US Library of Congress with both superb audio-visual facilities.
He disclosed that the building contained various ICT-driven classroom blocks that could take between 150 to 250 students.
Other facilities include; student hostels, staff quarters as well as a small clinic, among others.