This latest controversial move by the House of Representatives was revealed by Punch on Sunday. The report reveals that 28 units of the Peugeot 508 series had already been delivered to lawmakers in Abuja.
The 28 were among the first batch of 50 cars supplied by the Kaduna-based Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited. The House spent a whopping N3.6bn for the cars in the 2016 budget at a unit price of N10m. The House had agreed with Peugeot to supply the vehicles in batches because of the huge number of members involved.
“Fifty cars will be supplied in the first batch; 28 have already been delivered. That was last week.
“Twenty-two more in the first batch are expected to be delivered this week,”a source stated.
The 360 members will benefit from the luxury cars as Nigerians languish in serious poverty.
“The House was not sure of the provisions in the budget owing to the general drop in the revenue available to the Federal Government this year.
“So, they delayed it till the budget was passed before they continued with the procurement processing.”
Lawmakers had a difficult time making up their minds on the choice of Peugeot 508 series as many had wanted the 2016 Toyota Camry, but eventually had to settle for the former.
“Eventually, the argument was sustained that Peugeot should be the choice to encourage local automotive industry; though it would also appear that there was a comparative cost analysis,” another legislative source added.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, confirmed that members had started taking delivery of the vehicles.
He said, “This issue of cars is long overdue. They are not for luxury but for committee and oversight duties.
“The 8th Assembly is nearing two years, yet members have no cars to carry out their duties.
“Ministers and other officials in the executive have long bought vehicles for official duties.
“At the state level, members of House of Assembly have cars to carry out basic functions.
“I think it is only fair that members of the National Assembly will have utility vehicles for their assignments.”
This will not come as a welcome development to many Nigerians as many are likely to revolt that the lawmakers are using the people to enrich themselves.