…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Nigerian lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives are preparing to allocate more than N40 billion towards the purchase of vehicles, as reported by Saturday Sun.
The plan entails acquiring 107 units of the 2023 Toyota Landcruiser model for the Senate and 358 units of the 2023 Toyota Prado model for the House members.
Separate Purchase for Top National Assembly Officers
The procurement of vehicles for the four highest-ranking officers of the National Assembly will be handled separately.
This includes the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio; the Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abass; the Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau; and the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu.
Responsibility of the Senate Committee on Services
The task of procuring these vehicles falls under the purview of the Senate Committee on Services.
The committee, led by Senator Sunday Karimi of Kogi West, was established by Senate President Akpabio during the week.
Increased Costs due to Exchange Rate Fluctuations
A 2023 model Toyota Land Cruiser costs a minimum of N125 million and up to N135 million for a fully-optioned version.
This amount represents a significant increase from the N50 million spent on each vehicle in 2019, primarily due to the rise in the dollar-to-naira exchange rate.
New Features and Enhancements in the 2023 Model
A car dealer explained that the 2023 model offers various new features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 10-speaker audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, and wireless charging.
Additionally, the new model includes four-wheel drive, center locking, terrain camera view, and other off-road capabilities.
Plans for Upgrading Official Vehicles in the House of Representatives
The House of Representatives also intends to upgrade its official vehicles.
According to a source, the proposal for acquiring Toyota Prado vehicles did not originate from the House itself but from the management of the National Assembly.
However, the idea has not yet received approval.
Justification for Vehicle Upgrades
Some lawmakers argue that upgrading to Toyota Prado is not unreasonable, considering that heads of agencies utilize Toyota Landcruisers.
They believe that as long as the vehicles are used for official functions, it is justifiable for members of parliament to have Prado SUVs.
Repayment of Vehicle Costs by Lawmakers
The new Senate spokesman, Yemi Adaramodu, clarified that the cost of the vehicles would be repaid by lawmakers over their term in office.
He justified the expense by highlighting that government ministers and other appointees also have their vehicles, and lawmakers require suitable vehicles to perform their duties.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn