‘Reps frown over slow delivery of N6.1bn vehicles’

Members of the House of Representatives have expressed displeasure after the lawmakers could not take delivery of exotic cars worth about N6.1 billion as official vehicles for the 360-member House.

Every four years, lawmakers get exotic official vehicles, better known as “utility or committee” cars.

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

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

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

Punch reports 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 N17 million, leaving the House with a budget of N6.1 billion.

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

“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.

“As a matter of fact, they have been compelled to lobby the House Services Committee chairman so that they will be among the lucky ones to get the cars”, another National Assembly source said.

A source said, “It was the initial plan to go for either Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or Camry, which could be easily delivered.

“But it was Baballe-Ila who used his position as chairman to foist Peugeot on members. Now, Peugeot is unable to deliver the cars two years on.

“Matters came to a head last week just before members went on break as they asked Dogara to sack Baballe-Ila.”

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