Emerging reports reveal that twenty more exotic cars have been imported and delivered to legislators in the House of Representatives.
Tagged as ‘utility’ or ‘committee’ vehicles, the House is reportedly buying 360 units of Peugeot 508 for legislative services. The Punch reports that each car is supplied at the price tag of N17 million, leaving the total cost of the 360 units at N6.1 billion.
It was gathered that with the delivery of the additional 20 car units, it brings the total number of cars delivered so far to the House to 260. By implication, it is speculated that extra 100 units are still being awaited to make the vehicles go round all 360 members of the House.
Insider sources reveal that the 20 units started arriving at the legislative building early last week. The cars were neatly parked at a filling station adjoining the National Assembly Annex I and II premises. The filling station and the premises are separated by a barbed wire fence, according to the Punch.
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“These additions came after so much pressure was mounted on the Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr. Nasiru Baballe-Ila, by members.
“You will recall that the delayed supply of the utility cars since 2015 has been a source of friction in the House.
“Many members are disappointed in Baballe-Ila that in almost three years, his committee and the bureaucracy of the National Assembly are unable to supply utility vehicles to members.
“You will recall that as recently as October, about 120 members still did not have cars. With the additional 20, it means that 100 more lawmakers will wait into the New Year (2018) to get cars,” a National Assembly official said.
It was gathered that that Baballe-Ila had convinced the leadership of House in 2015 to opt for Peugeot 508 cars with an initial understanding with Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited to supply the units in phases.
However, PAN reportedly later became uncomfortable with the deal, while the committee opened the gates for several sub-contractors to assume the supply of the vehicles.
With the development, most of the units were not supplied by PAN, but by other contractors, who resorted to importing the units from outside Nigeria, especially Dubai in the United Arab Emirate.
Confirming the development, PAN’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Haroun Malami, said that his firm was no longer deeply involved in the supplies.
“The choice of Peugeot 508 against all other brands was based on the overall value offered by the vehicle in terms of price, performance and residual value; the sub-contracting arrangement by the National Assembly was based on financial ease of transaction to the legislative arm.
“We are uniquely placed and committed to meet national and customers’ demand who are committed to meeting their financial obligation,” he stated.
Last October, some members had returned their cars to Baballe-Ila after they developed faults under 90 days of being delivered to them.
According to the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, the arrival of the additional units merely confirmed the promise of the House to deliver the vehicles to members in batches.
“The cars will come in batches until all the members have their utility vehicles,” he stated.