Car allocation: Some Reps want cash to buy vehicle of their choice

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SOME  members of the House of Representatives,tired of waiting for the allocation of their official Peugeot  508 utility cars ,are now considering other options,The Nation gathered yesterday.

Such Reps are said to prefer taking the N17million cash budgeted for each of them to  buy a car of their choice.

The House leadership is not opposed to the idea,sources said.

Many member of the Green Chamber had complained to Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his principal officers about alleged poor welfare,citing non-allocation of official cars to them,among other grievances, two years after their swearing in.

But the resolution of the car issue seems to have  calmed some  frayed nerves in the House,sources said.

A lawmaker from the Northcentral told The Nation by phone yesterday that some Reps who wanted the Peugeot car had received allocation papers from the Nasir Baballe Ila – led House Services Committee.

He said the allocation letter was to the tune of N17m, the unit price for a Peugeot 508.

He said some Reps appear to prefer other brands.

He said: “I will not say that the House leadership has not delivered the vehicles because all female members have taken possession of theirs including some male lawmakers, while some others have the allocation letter.

“The reason you may not see most of the Peugeot 508 cars in the National Assembly complex could be that many prefer to either keep them at home in Abuja here or back home in their States.

” I can tell you that many of my colleagues opted for the allocation letter of N17m which gives you the liberty to purchase any vehicle of your choice.

“I cannot tell you the actual number of my colleagues that have taken the allocation letter or those that have taken possession of cars, it is the House Services Committee that can confirm that but many have got one or the other”.

On whether members are still at loggerheads with the leadership over the issue, the source said, the resolution of the car matter has been able to douse a lot of tension.

But he said the problem of late  salary payment remains.

“Late payment of our entitlements has always been a problem. Prompt payment of our allowances would go a long way in calming frayed nerves but the implementation of the current budget is not helping matters,” the lawmaker said.

“So far, the tension has subsided and the leadership can be at peace until another contentious issue will crop up,” he added.

Another member from the Southwest who also does not want his name mentioned however said the leadership was playing to the gallery with the claim of the delivery of 200 Peugeot 508.

The lawmaker said he has not received his own car.

He said: “I have not been around for a while and I just returned two days ago. But I heard that they ( House Leadership) said we will get the cars by  the end of the year.

“ You consider it, after two years and seven months!

“The truth is that I don’t think they have received 200 cars because if they have, I would have heard from a friend, who would have heard from a friend.

“I believe they are just playing game with us. Aside from the ones they said the female members got, I don’t think anybody got any car.

” As for me, I don’t have a car from the leadership of this 8th House, and I haven’t seen anyone that has. If they say they have 200 cars, let them begin to distribute them so we can see them.

” Since they are not spirit cars, they will be driven and people will see them.”

Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaq Namdas had, last week, said every member would receive his car by  the end of the year.

He said financial constraint was responsible for the instalmental  procurement of the vehicles.

However, Chairman of House Services Committee, Baballe Illa could not be reached as he was said to have been out of the country.

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