N3.6bn exotic cars for Reps, wasteful, says Jibrin

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Suspended member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has criticised the purchase of exotic cars for lawmakers, describing it as “wasteful.”

Lawmakers are buying 360 units of Peugeot 508 series at the combined cost of about N3.6bn.

At least 28 of the cars had been delivered two weeks ago from the first batch of 50.

The PUNCH learnt on Sunday that the delivery of the expensive automobiles would continue in batches till around the last days of January 2017.

However, Jibrin, a former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, said it amounted to “insensitivity” for the House to splash the huge money on cars at a time the country was in recession.

Contrary to explanations given by the House that the cars would be used for oversight duties by members, Jibrin claimed in his latest reaction that members actually carried out “over 80 per cent” of their oversight functions in Abuja and really did not need special cars.

Jibrin posted his reaction on his Twitter handle.

According to him, during such visits to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, the agencies arrange buses to convey them from the National Assembly.

He alleged that the agencies that were far from Abuja also arranged buses to pick up the members from the airports after they had flown from Abuja.

Incidentally, the suspended legislator benefited from similar exotic cars bought by the 7th Assembly (2011-2015) when he was the Chairman, Committee on Finance.

Part of a statement on his Twitter handle, read, “In line with my commitment to continue to expose individual and systemic corruption in the House and Nigeria as a whole, I wish to state the following facts.

“That it is an outright lie that the cars are needed for oversight as over 80 per cent of oversight activities of the House of Representatives are carried out in Abuja and in almost all instances it is the MDA’s that arrange buses to convey members from the premises of the House to the respective MDA.

“That such areas that are far away from Abuja, members always use flights to the nearest location while the MDAs arrange vehicles and other logistics to complete the visit. In almost all instances, the MDAs provide accommodation and pay for the tickets and other logistics.

“That even if we assume that the cars are needed, it is unfair to further put additional N4bn into such a wasteful venture while at the same time members pocket about N10m monthly. An amount many members use to sponsor their lavish lifestyles and buy as many exotic cars for their private use…”

Although he is still on suspension, Jibrin said he would reject his own car (Peugeot 508) and urged members to reject theirs too.

Only on Thursday, last week, the House had defended the purchase of the cars, saying that they would be used for oversight tours of projects executed by the MDAs.

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