Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have defended their decision to get new vehicles despite the country’s economic struggles and the recent removal of fuel subsidies.
In a statement on Sunday, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, said the vehicles are necessary for lawmakers to carry out their oversight functions effectively.
Rotimi said the vehicles will be used to reach the country’s remote areas and investigate government programs and policies. He also said that the vehicles will help maintain the legislature’s independence from the executive branch of government.
“The vehicles to be allocated to the offices of honourable members are utility operational vehicles tied to their oversight functions in the discharge of their duties in the standing committees,” Rotimi said. “They are not personal vehicles gifted to honourable members.”
Rotimi also said that the House of Representatives is committed to reducing the cost of governance, and that the percentage of the legislature’s budget has been on a downward trend in recent years.
“Accordingly, as all stakeholders continue to advance the conversation about reducing the cost of governance, we encourage looking in the right direction, and not cause disaffection for honourable members who want to discharge their duties effectively and above board, without being susceptible to inducement when the enablement to function is impaired,” Rotimi said.
The procurement of new vehicles for lawmakers is a controversial issue in Nigeria. Critics argue that it is a waste of money, especially when the country faces economic challenges. They also argue that the vehicles are used for personal purposes rather than oversight functions.
However, lawmakers argue that the vehicles are essential to do their jobs effectively. They say that they need to be able to travel to remote areas of the country to investigate government programs and policies. They also say that they need to be able to maintain their independence from the executive branch of government.
Whether the public will accept the lawmakers’ explanation remains to be seen. Some Nigerians may be critical of the decision to spend money on new vehicles while the country is facing economic challenges. Others may be more understanding, given the need for lawmakers to be able to travel to remote areas to carry out their duties.