A few days ago, news filtered that 360 members of the House of Assembly are to be gifted with vehicles worth about N160 million each.
In a statement released by the Labour Party, the party has said that they are shocked, saddened and disappointed at the level of insensitivity being displayed by the executive and the legislative arms of the President Bola Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress administration.
Meanwhile, Members of both arms of the National Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives, have started receiving their brand new 2023 model Toyota Land Cruisers worth over N100 million each.
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In the statement, the party said it is “saddening that with deepening poverty among Nigerians the administration has decided to increase its appetite for a life of opulence to mock hardworking but underprivileged Nigerians.
The statement went further to say, “How else can any Government justify the bloated Federal Executive Council of 48 cabinet ministers, with each of them given three luxurious four-wheel drive vehicles on the first day in office, paid for and fueled by taxpayers? This is notwithstanding hundreds of presidential and ministerial aides, as well as numerous aides to the aides which are being funded by the Government.
These vehicles will be costing Nigerians about N57.6 billion and this is happening at a time when government claims it cannot afford to increase the minimum wage of N30,000 monthly to workers.
“A bag of 50 kg rice is today N50,000 and most families can’t afford two square meals a day, how insensitive can a Government become? This same government is still going round the world cap in hand seeking for loan, what a shame!
“We implore this government to in the interest of our dear nation retrace its step and give priority to revamping the economy instead of its current obsession with luxury living.
“We are also calling on the Labour Party legislators in the 10th Assembly to kick against this unnecessary wastage of resources in line with the ideology of the party which is social justice and equal opportunity for all. Nigerians will hold them responsible if they fail to live above board or give proper account of the electoral investment reposed in them.
Reacting to the issue, House spokesperson and Chairman, the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, said in a statement in Abuja: “It is important to make a few clarifications. The vehicles to be allocated to the offices of members are utility operational vehicles tied to their oversight functions in the discharge of their duties in the standing committees. They are not personal vehicles gifted to honorable members.
“For the duration of the 10th assembly 2023 – 2027, the vehicles shall remain the property of the National Assembly. At the expiration of the tenure of the 10th Assembly in 2027, should the extant assets deboarding policy of government still be in place, members may have the option of making payment for the outstanding value of the vehicles to government coffers before they can become theirs, otherwise it remains the property of the National Assembly.