After senators were given N8m car loans each in August this year, it has been revealed that Senators and House of Representative members will receive 496 Cars, Daily Trust Reports.
During the 7th Senate, the senators used Prado jeeps but this time around, they have opted for more expensive cars.
Senate spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi said the cars are for committee use. However, it was exclusive gathered that the senators will get a car each.
Our correspondent reports that the headship of the 65 standing committees are appointed in such a way that each senator will chair a committee or serve as vice chairman.
It was gathered that during the 7th Senate, the cars acquired for the committees were sold to the senators at N1m.
“To the best of my knowledge the cars we used at the 7th Senate were monetised to us, I think, at N1m each and the money was deducted from our severance package,” a senator who benefitted said.
He also confirmed receipt of the vehicle loan in August, saying, “we were given three allowances in August and they are car loan, housing and furniture allowances, all amounting to N18m”.
At the House of Representatives, a source told Daily Trust that in line with the tradition of the House, vehicles would be bought for members to use for committee assignments.
Even during the immediate past 7th House, the 360 lawmakers got a Camry XL car each, which our source said was bought at the sum of about N12 million, including insurance.
Our source said: “yes, we learnt they want to do the same thing that was done during the last Assembly, where each member got a car, but they said it was for committee activities.”
The source said the Camry XL cars purchased for members during the last Assembly were monetized at the end of their tenure in June and the money was deducted from their severance packages, while few members opted not to buy the cars.
“Initially, they valued the cars at N1.750 million, but members protested, because most of the cars were not in good shape. In the end, they settled at N900, 000, so those of us who wanted to go with our own applied, and they deducted it from our severance, while a few members returned their own,” the source said.
But House spokesman Rep Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) said although leadership of the lower chamber plans to purchase cars to aid members during committees’ oversights, they were yet to reach a decision on the number and the brand of cars to buy.
“There’s no doubt that we’ll buy cars, but they will be for committee use. We haven’t decided on any brand or units to buy yet until we see our 2016 budget. We don’t want to do anything that cannot be realised at the end of the day,” he said.
Namdas said already, management of the National Assembly had advertised that it would purchase television sets, computers and photocopiers for lawmakers’ use.
“We want to have a transparent process based on the Procurement Act,” he said, adding that all the principal officers were completely excluded from the deal in order for the management staff to do their work”.
Asked if there is any plan to purchase new vehicles for Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his deputy Yussuf Suleimon Lasun, the House spokesman said he was not aware of any such thing.