At a time Nigeria is seeking funds to finance the battle against the dreaded coronavirus seeking ‘fine bara’ (stylish begging) from some rich individual citizens to the tune of one billion Naira per person, the Green Chambers, Federal House of Representatives is about to distribute 400 luxury cars worth N7bn to its members.
Chairman of the House Services Committee, Mr. Wale Raji confirmed receipt of the Toyota Camry 2020 model cars also called utility cars but was silent on the cost of purchase.
House of Reps members.
Already, 14 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep cars have been distributed to principal officers and select Chairmen of Committees.
The Legislators had resolved at a House session on 5th February 2020 to purchase the 400 units of the exotic cars which attracted much protest from the people they claim they represent.
A Punch Newspaper finding had put the price tag of between US$25,000-US$35,000 per car depending on the variant and excluding the cost of shipping and custom duties which is about 100% of the actual cost of each unit.
By simple arithmetic, the 400 cars will cost US$14m which at N500 per dollar is N7bn. That will be the amount Nigeria will receive from seven powerful rich individuals who are helping out to save souls with their riches. President Buhari had thanked some of them ahead of the actual donations.
There are 360 Reps, so some top management members of Staff, Chiefs of Staff to the two presiding officers as well as some special advisers and special assistants will share in the booty while the people they claim to represent are on goodwill to survive the terrible times.
Usually, the vehicles are auctioned to the Lawmakers at ridiculous prices at the end of their four year term.
The Green Chambers had adjourned plenary sessions until further notice without a word on their returnee members who refused to obey airport medical procedures.
The Chief of Staff to the President had written a memo to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila stating that the deviant behavior of the Legislators is putting the nation at risk and the unnamed returnee should report themselves to the NCDC and self-isolate.
The Legislators had been unmoved about the Presidential directive but fancied driving about in fanciful luxurious cars at a cost to the nation.
Already, criticism are circulating that a hazard allowance to a Medical Doctor is fixed at N5,000 whereas a Newspaper allowance to the legislators is N1.2m and the Doctors are now to risk their lives treating coronavirus patients.