Reps grumble as delivery of N6.1bn exotic cars stalls

Members of the House of Representatives are enraged after the lawmakers could not take delivery of exotic cars worth about N6.1bn as official vehicles for the 360-member House.

Every four years, lawmakers get exotic official vehicles, better known as “utility or committee” cars, though the cars are more like the personal property of the legislators.

Investigations by The PUNCH on Sunday showed that after using personal cars to work or go on oversight duties for over two years, lawmakers had told the leadership of the House that they had had “enough of suffering.”

About 223 of the 360 members of the house were “freshers” who first came to the National Assembly in 2015.

The new members are said to be most pained as they have had to fuel personal cars for work since June, 2015.

In the days preceding the annual recess of the members on Thursday last week, The PUNCH learnt that the members had begun to demand explanations from the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

However, the blame was placed more on the Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr. Nasiru Baballe-Ila, than on Dogara, for the former’s alleged role in delaying the delivery of the cars.

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Findings showed that the House had contracted Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited to supply 360 units of Peugeot 508 series late in 2015.

The company is allegedly supplying each unit of the exotic vehicle at N17m, leaving the House with huge budget of N6.1bn.

An official stated, “Right from when this arrangement started, there was an undertaking that the cars would be supplied in batches.

“The supply started initially with the female members in August, 2016, when the first 50 units arrived.

“Later on, we started noticing hiccups in the delivery of the cars as members got more impatient.

“More than two years into a four-year tenure, only 175 members have been supplied the cars. Others are still paying from their pockets to work and the suffering continues.

“Members are tired and they can no longer keep calm. It was learnt that the hiccups were caused by what the House later discovered to be ‘Peugeot’s lack of capacity’ to deliver the cars because of the huge number.

“It has got to a pathetic situation whereby members scramble for the few units that are delivered.

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