The House of Representatives is reportedly planning to go ahead with its plan to purchase 360 official vehicles for its members.
This is despite the uproar that greeted the purchase of official vehicles for senators, the dwindling economy caused by the fluctuating price of oil in the international market and the fall of the Naira.
This Day reports that House is expected to purchase 360 units of Peugeot 508 for its members to be used for committee oversight duties.
Report has it that each of the Peugeot 508 cars costs between N8million and N10million.
Briefing newsmen on Thursday, May 19, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, the chairman of the committee on media and public affairs, refused to reveal what was appropriated in the National Assembly’s budget for the vehicles.
Speaking on the issue, several lawmakers faulted those critricising the National Assembly over the purchase of vehicles.
According to the lawmakers, the criticisms were unnecessary as official car purchases cut across all tiers and arms of government.
A lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Every minister has three official cars. Legislators at my state House of Assembly have Toyota Prado SUVs as their official cars. So if anyone says we do not deserve official cars, the policy should be across board.”
Another lawmaker noted that the cars being purchased do not belong to the lawmakers but are meant for committee work and not personal use.
Recall that sometime last year, the media reported that the National Assembly had proposed about N4.7 billion for at least 400 vehicles for leaders and members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
This quickly sparked harsh reactions from Nigerians.
Despite the public outcry, the Senate still went ahead to purchase cars for its members in April. Defending its action, the Senate said: “We are supposed to buy 109 cars but because of the paucity of funds, because of our sensitivity and concern for lack of funds, we bought only 36 to go round per state.’’