The Sale of National Assembly Assets: Issues and Matters Arising!

June 7, 2019

Recession is now the buzzword in Nigeria; even children understand that things are no longer the same. Albeit, the management of the National Assembly has decided to dispose off office equipment to outgoing Federal lawmakers at rock bottom prices.

Payment for the equipment such as computers, scanners, photo copying machines, television sets and refrigerators will be deducted from the severance package of the beneficiaries.

Some of the non-returning federal legislators were reportedly seen moving such office equipment into waiting trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles. Although some of the lawmakers gave the acquired items to their aides and supporters, others chose to sell theirs to willing buyers within the National Assembly complex.

Nigerians are however shocked at the development, especially at what they called the ridiculously low prices the items were being given away. It is unfortunate because the equipment cost much more than what they are being given out for. It is no excuse that the equipment are tagged ‘used’ because you can’t get them for those ridiculous prices I markets where used products are sold.

On the other hand, incoming lawmakers must also be provided with a new set of these equipment by the management of the National Assembly. What is wrong with these ones being given away that the incoming lawmakers cannot use, even for the next four years? Why do they have the Maintenance Department if any of the equipment breaks down?

In a memorandum sighted by a media outfit, 11 office items cost a total of N367,479.33. The breakdown showed that a Samsung double door refrigerator was given out for N25,000; HP Envy Core 13, N49,000; Apple Ipad Air computer, N41,980; LED TV Samsung UA4600AR 50, N59,500.

Shredding machine, N19,800; Water dispenser with bottle, N8,990; Photocopying machine Sharp Copier AR 6021 N57,172.00; Scanner HP Scanjet Pro 3900 Fi N20,130.00; HP Laserjet Pro M201 N10,038.00; Desktop Computer Model Envy 23″ Touch screen; and Suit hanger N1,900.00.

Any member taking the entire 11 items would pay N349,970,50, with N17,498.83 as VAT for items. Sources put the current market value of the items at over N3m with a Led television going for N300,000; HP Envy Core 13, N400,000; HP Desktop Envy23″. N420,000; Samsung double door refrigerator, N315; Sharp Copier AR6023, N380; HP Laserjet M201 dw, N120,000; HP Scanjet Pro 3500F1, N195,000; and Cway water dispenser, N50,000.

This development is regrettably for our nascent democratic process, the high moral standard expected from our legislators seems to be dashed, as their operations and dealings overtime were brazenly characterised by inefficiency, massive corruption, ineptitude, nepotism and gross mismanagement, which may lead to collapse of government.

It is obvious that the tasks ahead of the 9th National Assembly is multifarious. The incoming 9th National Assembly leadership must however restore sanity into the system and re-assure Nigerians that they are ready serve and not just to be served.