Reps to buy N6.1 billion cars for 360 members
The House of Representatives is spending N6.1 billion on procurement of 360 Peugeot 508 for its members; it was learnt at the weekend.
At a unit price of about N17 million, the leadership of the House said no members would get more than a car, including the principal officers.
It debunked allegation of favoritism in the distribution of about 200 units that were supplied so far, saying members would take possession of their vehicles by the end of the year.
Another batch of supply is expected this week.
According to its leadership, favoritism was not employed in the distribution of the already procured vehicles.
Speaking with reporters at the weekend, House spokesman Abdulrazaq Namdas explained that installment supply of the vehicles was due to the financial challenges facing the House leadership.
“About 200 vehicles have been supplied so far and members would take possession of theirs by the end of the year.
“We never promised to supply the 360 vehicles at once because of the financial constraints.
“The budget implementation hasn’t commenced and that is the reason for the installment supply of the vehicles. But, since it was provided for in the budget, every member will get theirs before the year runs out.
“Complaints by some members is normal because the House is huge and it is normal for some to complain. But, since we are getting the cars in batches, it will be impossible for everyone to get at once.
“Allegation that women lawmakers and committee chairmen were given first was also not true.
“As a matter of fact, it was the decision of the leadership to provide for the new members first. So, you may have a new member having while a committee chairman like myself don’t have yet.
“The distribution was not meant to marginalise anyone; the leadership wasn’t choosy about the distribution. Everyone will be adequately taken care of before the year runs out.”
On why the House had to procure the cars for its members, Namdas pleaded for the understanding of Nigerians, saying there was a level that Nigerians would not want their lawmakers to descend to.
According to him, Nigerians would want their representatives to be deserving of their status.
“Definitely, chief executive and directors in government institutions and agencies have official vehicles attached to them. Why would lawmakers not enjoy same privilege?
“Meanwhile, not even our principal officers will have more than one of the same vehicle and these vehicles are to last for four years and not yearly as we have in other arms of government.
“Our job here is to make laws for good governance and that is what we are doing and we need peace of mind and the goodwill of Nigerians to accomplish this,” he added.