House of Reps and the Purchase of Exotic Cars: Matters Arising! –Ishola Adebayo

Nov. 18, 2016

Amid the hard-biting economic downturn in the country, the National Assembly has paid a whopping N3.6billion for 360 exotic cars which the House of Representatives has taken delivery of no fewer than 28 units of the Peugeot 508 series. The 28 were among the first batch of 50 cars supplied by the Kaduna-based Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited.

Active citizens have overtime argued that, for the legislators to prioritise buying for themselves some luxury vehicles at a time most Nigerians are going through difficult times demonstrates a high level of insensitivity and recklessness.

The cars will cost taxpayers an estimated N3.6billion that could be spent on vaccinating newborns and save them from dying or on providing electricity for remote communities so kids stop doing school assignments using paraffin lamps.

The lower legislative chamber is buying the vehicles at a time millions of Nigerians are facing severe economic hardship, including nonpayment of salaries.

Indeed, at a period when there is a compelling need for the elected representatives of the people to ensure robust and timely legislation and oversight so that Nigerians can begin to enjoy the benefits of good governance, the lawmakers seem to care more about their privileges.

Indeed, this current National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, is about to set the standard on how a legislature can become a subversion of all the ethical aspirations that ought to drive a society.

If these exotic cars are needed for necessary oversight trips to difficult terrains as being touted, why not buy a dozen of such vehicles and put them in a pool that the lawmakers can sign for when such official trips become imperative?

The sheer lack of transparency that shrouds this transaction and the magnitude of the financial outlay are reflective of the enormous rot in our polity. While it is doubtful if the lawmakers who have already taken possession of the vehicles will return them, hopefully they will understand that they are fast losing credibility with Nigerians they are expected to serve.