Parliament renovation costs $5 million, clerk reveals

By William Madouk

The enormous restoration project underway at the transitional national legislative assembly will cost the government up to 5 million US dollars, this is according to the assembly clerk, Makuc Makuc Ngong.

Mr. Ngong, the chamber’s clerk revealed this on Thursday during the inauguration of the main entrance gate of the national assembly.

“It’s purely funded by the government of the Republic of South Sudan and the whole amount of the project is 5 million US dollars including the main building,” Ngong told journalists yesterday.

“This is why all the projects delayed but by the coming of Rt. Hon. Speaker Jemma Nunu with the support of President, we were able to pay some of these contractual obligations,” he added.

The construction work, which began during the tenure of the Speaker, Anthony Lino Makana took several years as it is yet to finish due to limited resources.

“Obviously, [the delay] is the economic situation of our country, we could not be able to pay our contactors on time,” Clerk Ngong explained.

The House, now convenes its sittings in Freedom Hall due to limited space after the number of MPs expanded to 550, as they await the construction completion.

For his part, the second Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Parmena Awerial Aluong said the renovated gate depicted the new look of assembly as one of the national ‘symbols’ of the government.

“You can see now, the assembly has been seen as a national symbol of the government, so we are very happy today,” Awerial said.

He added that soon President Salva Kiir would inaugurate the main sitting hall for members of the parliament that is on final touches.  

“The sitting hall is still, we are putting chairs, cameras and microphones that one is still a bit after its completion, we will invite the President to come and open it,” second deputy noted.

Among refurbished buildings are the offices of chairperson of specialized committees and their deputies including the restaurant.

Deputy speaker, Awerial further commended the parliament leadership and the president for exerting efforts to make sure that the project is ongoing well and the contractors are paid in time.

“Jemma Nunu push hard even though the resources are very limited to pay engineers and also with the help of the president who also push hard such that the money is released to the engineers,” he lauded.  

Meanwhile, Engineer Joseph representing the contracted company C.K.M, appreciated the assembly leadership, adding that they are trying their best to finalize the project before it would be officially launched by the president.

Last month, speaker Nunu said the national parliament is at its final stage of refurbishment and to be officially handed over in two months’ time subject to the government payment.

She revealed this during the reopening of the parliament.  

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