In a move that has stirred significant public debate, members of Nigeria’s Green Chamber have begun receiving their allocated Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
The Red Chamber legislators are set to follow suit, with the first batch of their luxury jeeps expected this week.
The decision by the National Assembly’s leadership to purchase these imported SUVs for each lawmaker, including bulletproof variants for principal officers, has been met with widespread criticism.
Akin Rotimi, the spokesperson for the House of Representatives, confirmed the vehicle deliveries. He highlighted the priority given to specific groups and stressed the importance of these vehicles in aiding legislative operations.
However, an anonymous member of the Green Chamber revealed that the current Assembly is keen on ensuring the vehicles are used strictly for legislative purposes.
Many argue that such extravagant spending is tone-deaf, especially given the current economic challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians.
What is the controversy about?
The National Assembly’s decision to purchase luxury SUVs for its members has sparked public outcry, with many viewing it as insensitive amidst the country’s economic hardships.
Who has criticized the move?
The Human Rights Writers Association and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project are among the prominent bodies that have voiced their concerns.
They highlight the stark contrast between the lawmakers’ luxury and the deteriorating state of public infrastructure and the struggles of average Nigerians.
How has the Senate responded?
The Senate has defended the SUV purchases, stating that the vehicles are essential for lawmakers to carry out their duties effectively.
Are there any conditions attached to these vehicles?
Yes, the management has emphasized that these vehicles are the property of the National Assembly and must not be sold.
They’ve also prioritized distribution to female lawmakers, those with disabilities, and members without pending court cases.
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