Despite the health sector being in shamble as the coronavirus spreads in the country, Nigeria’s House of Representatives has started taking delivery of the Toyota Camry 2020 model cars acquired for members as official cars, despite huge public outcry.
Some of the cars were sighted at different parking lots within the National Assembly Complex, on Thursday, the Punch reports.
The legislators had at a closed-doors ession on February 5, 2020, resolved to purchase 400 units of the exotic car.
The Green Chamber then went for the V6 Limited Edition variant of the car.
Chairman of the Committee on House Services, Mr. Wale Raji, who confirmed delivery of the cars declined to respond to further enquiries by te newspaper.
The cars, which belong to the National Assembly, are usually auctioned to the lawmakers after four years.
Each of the newly acquired vehicles, depending on the variant, has a price tag of between US$25,000 to US $35,000, excluding the cost of shipping and custom duties, which is about 100 per cent of the actual cost of each unit.
For instance, those with higher specification, which most often than not is the preferred choice of lawmakers, could cost tax payers a tidy sum. Vehicles in this range are: XLE at $29,455, XLE V6 at $34,580, XSE at $30,005 and XSE V6 at $35,130.
Already, about 14 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado sports utility vehicles have already been handed out to presiding as well as other principal officers and chairmen of select House committees, the report said
According to a member of the House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, the 400 saloon cars would be allocated to each of the 360 members and some top management staff, Chiefs of Staff to the (two) presiding officers as well as some of their special advisers and assistants.
The lawmaker explained that new members who did not get committee appointments would benefit from the first batch.
An irresponsible legislature ha been fingered as a factor militating against Nigeria’s progress. The country’s legislators are the highest paid in the world.
The national assembly’s yearly budget is about $393 million.
A Nigerian lawmaker cost taxpayers $540,000 to maintain in a country where the children go to bed on empty stomach.