House Confirms Distribution of Prado Jeeps Valued at 130 Million to Lawmakers
The House of Representatives, represented by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Akin Rotimi, has addressed the recent buzz circulating in both traditional and online media.
This pertains to the allocation of vehicles to honorable members, and recognizing the public’s keen interest in this matter, the House believes it’s important to provide an update to the Nigerian people.
Amidst various stories with varying levels of exaggeration, it can be confirmed that the National Assembly is in the process of procuring and distributing operational vehicles to honorable members.
This process will unfold over the coming weeks and months, adhering to established procurement laws and following a precedent set by previous assemblies. It’s worth noting that this practice is not unique to the Legislature, as unelected government officials in the Executive arm, particularly at the Director level and above, also have official vehicles assigned to their positions.
To clarify, the vehicles being allocated to honorable members are 2023 model Prado jeeps designed for their official duties in various standing committees. These are not personal gifts but tools for their oversight functions. These vehicles will remain the property of the National Assembly throughout the 10th Assembly’s tenure (2023 – 2027). If the government’s existing assets deboarding policy remains in effect when the 10th Assembly concludes in 2027, honorable members may have the option to purchase these vehicles from government funds.
Otherwise, they will continue to be the property of the National Assembly.
The public should understand that the aim of this initiative is to ensure the independence and integrity of the 10th Assembly.
Honorable members of the Green Chamber are committed to maintaining a healthy distance from the Executive arm, especially in logistical matters related to their oversight functions, including accessing remote regions across the country. This enables them to directly witness the conditions citizens face and ensure the effective implementation of government programs and policies, even in the most challenging terrains.
The House reaffirms its dedication to reducing the cost of governance in line with current realities. A deeper examination will reveal that the Legislature’s budget as a portion of the national budget has consistently decreased over the past decade, despite inflation and the growing importance of honorable members in citizens’ lives. It presently stands at 0.5% of the Federal budget.
In light of this, as all stakeholders continue to discuss the reduction of governance expenses, it’s important to focus on the right areas and avoid causing unwarranted disapproval toward honorable members who are committed to fulfilling their duties effectively and transparently.
These vehicles are tools for work, not symbols of status. Honorable Members are diligent and devoted representatives, and this allocation will contribute to enhanced representation, constituency outreach, and oversight functions.