The House of Representatives has reportedly started taking delivery of the Toyota Camry 2020 model cars acquired for the lawmakers as official cars.
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The legislators had at an executive closed-door session on February 5, 2020, resolved to purchase 400 units of the exotic car.
Findings revealed that the House procured the V6 Limited Edition variant of the car as the Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr Wale Raji, while confirming the delivery of the vehicles, failed to entertain questions regarding the procurement of the cars.
Upon a check on the website motor company, Toyota, it was gathered that each of the vehicles, depending on the variant, had a price tag of between US$25,000 and US $35,000. This excludes the cost of shipping and customs duties, which is put at about 100 per cent of the actual cost of each unit.
This implies that vehicles with a higher specification could cost taxpayers a huge sum of money as cars in this range include, XLE at $29,455, XLE V6 at $34,580, XSE at $30,005 and XSE V6 at $35,130.
According to reports, about 14 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado sports utility vehicles have already been handed out to presiding as well as other principal officers and chairmen of select House committees.
When contacted on Thursday, some lawmakers, however, said they had yet to receive delivery of vehicles in the first batch.
Meanwhile, a member of the House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, while giving a breakdown of how the vehicles are shared, said that the 400 saloon cars would be allocated to each of the 360 members and some top management staff, Chiefs of Staff to the two presiding officers as well as some of their special advisers and assistants.
He explained that new members who did not get committee appointments would benefit from the first batch.
The source said: “I was told 100 have already arrived and they are sharing them to new members who are not chairmen and deputy chairmen (of committees). The next batch will be for returning (ranking) members who are neither chairmen nor deputy chairmen. The last batch will go to ranking member with appointments.”
The procurement of these vehicles is coming at a time when the country is in dire need of financial support to fight the rising cases of Coronavirus.
Recall that Senator Dino Melaye, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and Chairman Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, called on Nigerians to make donations to support the fight against COVID-19.