NASS to spend N5.55bn to procure SUV cars for Lawmakers

In what many people will call a repeat of the much-criticized move under the leadership of Dr Bukola Saraki as the Senate President, the leadership of the 9th National Assembly has begun moves to procure operational vehicles for the lawmakers that make up its dual legislative chambers.

It learned yesterday that meetings in that regard started among presiding officers in the Senate even before the apex legislative body embarked on its eight-week recess, which ends on September 24, 2019.

A National Assembly official confirmed the meetings on condition of anonymity, saying the cost of the cars would be deducted from lawmakers’ allowances.

The source revealed that the preferred brand the lawmakers are considering for senators is Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

The Saraki-led 8th NASS spent not less than N4 billion at that time to purchase the brand at a cost of N36 million. Two extra cars were also bought.

With the estimated current price of the vehicle now N50 million, the Senate might need about N5.550 billion to get enough quantity for its members, and two additional vehicles.

The chamber has always maintained that the cars are not for the luxury cravings of individual senators but to enhance the operations of committees.

It was learned that the cars would be meant specifically for all chairmen and vice-chairmen of Senate committees. But with the Senate now having 69 of such committees, the stage appears set for every member to be appointed as either chairman or vice-chairman.

About N1.3 billion was expended on procuring vehicles for senators in 2012, a development that attracted severe public criticism. At the time, 109 cars were bought for the lawmakers, each costing N11. 07 million.

Senate spokesman, Adedayo Adeyeye, could not be reached for comments as he failed to pick his calls. He did not reply to text messages either.

(The Nation)

About Jare Tiamiyu

A political and sport analyst, public speaker, writer, printer and online personnel.
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