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Culture of Profligacy: House of Reps to spend N2.5b on Cars for members

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Keeping with its tradition of waste and profligacy, The House of Representatives is set to spend a whooping N2.5billion on top shelf Toyota Camry cars for its 360 members' oversight functions.

Instead of a committee to have a couple of cars for its functions, each member will now have a brand new car

However, aside from this, each member is entitled to N7 million for another brand new car of their choice for personal use.

The unit price of the highest grade of the car (double cylinders) is said to be N7million going by the official rate adopted to buy the same brand for Senators in the last National Assembly.

It was, however, learnt that other brands of the same car could cost between N5.6m (second hand) and N6.5million.

He said the management of the National Assembly, which is the civil service arm, will handle the purchase.

The House, it was learnt, split into four groups on whether or not to buy the cars.

The groups are, those opposed to new cars because of the fiscal challenge facing the country and a N2.8billion car scam that trailed the last House; those in support of new cars; those who wanted members to use buses from the vehicle pool for oversight functions; and those insisting that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should provide vehicles for members on oversight assignments.

After weeks of heated debate, members last week settled for the Camry cars instead of the Peugeot 407 ST Sports cars used by members of the last House.

Although the exact number of cars the House will buy is being jealously guarded, it was gathered that it might not be less than 360 translating to a car per head.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Alhaji Zakari Mohammed, confirmed that the House has settled for Camry cars.