Rep Members Finalize Plans To Share 360 Official Vehicles Amid Nationwide Hardship.
The House of Representatives has finalised plans for the distribution of official vehicles for members of the 10th National Assembly amidst the harsh economic reality in the country, worsened by the removal of fuel subsidy.
Streetdope reports that the procurement of new multi-million Naira vehicles for lawmakers every four years has always generated controversy, especially as billions of Naira are being spent to acquire the vehicles.
In a statement on Sunday, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, said the media reports on the acquisition of the vehicles are being exaggerated.
He clarified that the vehicles distributed to members are not for personal use but utility operational vehicles tied to their oversight functions.
According to Rotimi, the vehicles attached to the lawmakers are expected to be returned after their tenure; however, members may be allowed to pay for the outstanding value of the vehicles and claim ownership after their tenure in the National Assembly.
The statement reads, “The House of Representatives is monitoring a trending topic across multiple traditional and online media concerning the distribution of vehicles to honourable members, and because this issue has understandably generated significant public interest, we believe Nigerians deserve feedback from their elected representatives.
“While many versions of this story carry varying exaggerations, we can confirm that the National Assembly bureaucracy is in the phased process of procuring and distributing operational vehicles to honourable members over the coming weeks and months. This development is in
accordance with extant procurement laws and has been the practise in previous assemblies.
“It is also not peculiar to the Legislature, as unelected government officials in the Executive arm of government from the Assistant Director level and above, in most cases, have official vehicles attached to their offices. It is important to make a few clarifications. The vehicles to be allocated to the offices of honourable members are utility operational vehicles tied to their oversight functions in the discharge of their duties in the standing committees. They are not personal vehicles gifted to honourable members. For the duration of the 10th assembly (2023 – 2027), the vehicles shall remain the property of the National Assembly. At the expiration of the tenure of the 10th Assembly in 2027, should the extant assets deboarding policy of government still be in place, honourable members may have the option of making payment for the outstanding value of the vehicles to government coffers before they can become theirs, otherwise it remains the property of the National Assembly.
The public is invited to note that as part of the 10th Assembly’s objective to ensure our integrity and independence, honourable members of the Green Chamber have resolved to maintain a respectable distance from the Executive arm of government, especially in issues relating to logistical aspects of oversight functions, including reaching difficult terrains in the country. No matter how remote the location is, as long as there are Nigerian citizens living there, they deserve highly mobile representatives who can see first-hand what they are going through, and ensure government interventions, programmes, and policies are carried out effectively.”