‘Not personal gifts’– reps clarify reports on purchase of bulletproof SUVs for lawmakers



The house of representatives has reacted to reports on the procurement of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for the 360 members of the lower chamber.


Recently, reports appeared on social media that the leadership of the green chamber has bought SUVs for all members of the house.


According to the report, each of the SUVs is valued at N160 million, totalling N57.6 billion for the purchase of the vehicles.


In a statement on Sunday, Akin Rotimi, spokesperson of the house of representatives, confirmed that the green chamber is in the “phased process of procuring and distributing operational vehicles to honourable members”.


Rotimi said the reports on the vehicle procurement “carry varying exaggerations”, adding that the vehicles are not personal gifts to the lawmakers.


He added that the vehicles remain the property of the national assembly within the four-year tenure of members of the house.


“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.


“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. This can only be possible with functional and reliable off-road vehicles.


“The vehicles are work tools and not status symbols — honourable members are diligent and patriotic elected representatives and not entitled.


 “The anticipated allocation of vehicles will contribute to improved representation, constituency outreach and oversight functions.”

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