Despite the economy downturn besetting the nation, the House of Representatives, on Sunday, commenced the delivery of 360 exotic cars to members of the House.
According to investigations by The Punch, 28 units of the Peugeot 508 series, supplied by the Kaduna-based Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited, had already been delivered to lawmakers in Abuja.
It was learnt that the House allocated N3.6bn for the cars in the 2016 budget at a unit price of N10m.
A National Assembly top aide said that the arrangement with Peugeot was that the company would supply the vehicles in batches because of the huge number of members involved.
“Fifty cars will be supplied in the first batch; 28 have already been delivered. That was last week.
“Twenty-two more in the first batch are expected to be delivered this week,” the source stated.
“The House was not sure of the provisions in the budget owing to the general drop in the revenue available to the Federal Government this year.
“So, they delayed it till the budget was passed before they continued with the procurement processing,” the source added.
When asked why the House would spend so much money on 360 exotic cars at a time the country was in recession, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas said, “This issue of cars is long overdue. They are not for luxury but for committee and oversight duties.
“The 8th Assembly is nearing two years, yet members have no cars to carry out their duties.
“Ministers and other officials in the executive have long bought vehicles for official duties.
“At the state level, members of House of Assembly have cars to carry out basic functions.
“I think it is only fair that members of the National Assembly will have utility vehicles for their assignments.”