•House of Reps
The House of Representatives has urged Nigerians to hold member of the National Assembly responsible over the purchase of official vehicles for the lawmakers.
Members of the National Assembly faced severe criticism over plans to buy an SUV valued at N160m each for the 469 lawmakers.
But speaking yesterday on Channels Television, the spokesman of the House of Representatives Akin Rotimi said Nigerians should hold the federal lawmakers accountable for the usage of the vehicles.
“I said I’m invested in the idea of us having a lot more transparency. I’ve provided full disclosure as much as possible on this issue of vehicles.
“Go read my statement very well. I still stated very clearly that every four years these vehicles are procured and then deboarded. And then I gave Nigerians, I gave citizens, I gave media because I have a background in civil society as well,” he said.
“It’s my concern as well that look, instead of waiting until, you know, procurements are being done and concluded, there is the opportunity to say ‘What is going to happen to these vehicles?’ At the right time, hold the National Assembly to account.”
The lawmaker who represents Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1 wondered why Nigerians have to wait every four years to ask questions about purchase and usage of vehicles for National Assembly members.
“Why do we wait up until the point where this thing becomes an issue before we speak out about it in my statement?” he wondered.
“So, I’ll tell you. You see this issue of vehicles for the National Assembly, just like the previous speaker had said, it’s a conversation that happens every four years and it’s just unfortunate that many times we leave this conversation late in the day. At the expiration of every tenure of office of the National Assembly, the National Assembly bureaucracy makes arrangements right for a new set of lawmakers that are coming in.
“I said in my statement and I was taking up on that statement quite a lot. I said in my statement that there’s an extant policy for deboarding of vehicles.
“Why do we wait till four years after, after, the former ninth assembly had already left with all the vehicles, a new set have arrived right, without being able to, to have the right tools to be able to function, that is when we bring that conversation about vehicles?
“These conversations about the National Assembly procuring vehicles is a conversation from the preceding year before the resumption of a new assembly,” he said.
But he defended the planned purchase of the official vehicles, saying the National Assembly needs them to function effectively.
“If you look at it very well. I stated very clearly that these are work tools that are provided for lawmakers to be able to function,” the lawmaker maintained.