Labour Party (LP) lawmakers in the National Assembly have rejected an advice by Julius Abure, the party’s National Chairman.
Daily Trust had reported how the lawmakers finalised plans for their official vehicles which is reportedly worth N160 million each.
The procurement of new multi-million Naira vehicles for lawmakers every four years has always generated controversy.
Billions of naira are spent to buy the vehicles for the lawmakers the 360 members of the House of Representatives and 109 Senators.
Reacting to the outrage expressed by Nigerians, who described vehicle procurement amid the economic hardship as mispriority, Abure asked members of his party not to accept it.
He said the Labour Party was saddened and disappointed at the level of insensitivity being displayed by the executive and the legislative arms in President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
However, in response to the party chairman’s advice, some Labour Party lawmakers expressed their intent to accept the official vehicles, emphasising their importance in carrying out legislative duties.
In a chat with PUNCH, Ngozi Okolie, Labour Party lawmaker representing Delta Aniocha North and South, said the vehicles were necessary work tools for lawmakers.
He said state-level politicians receive more benefits than federal lawmakers, making the official vehicles essential.
“The SUVs are meant to aid our jobs as lawmakers, particularly as it relates to our oversight functions. Yes, he can say that the economy is struggling but having one official vehicle as federal lawmakers isn’t frivolous; it’s a necessity,” he said.
Stainless Chijioke Nwodo, lawmaker representing Igbo Etiti and Uzo-Uwani constituencies in Enugu State, commended President Bola Tinubu for approving the official vehicles.
Nwodo noted that the SUVs would be used to benefit constituents and facilitate visits to constituents in challenging areas.
“National Assembly members should pray for the President and give him three ‘Gbosas’ for his magnanimity to the lawmakers.
“Nobody in the National Assembly is against the SUV, when the SUV comes, we will collect it and use it to bring more benefits to our constituencies; because in the real sense, it is for the constituents,” the lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Edo South Senatorial District, Neda Imasuen, mentioned that he would wait for the arrival of the vehicles before making a decision.
“I’d urge you to wait until that happens, then we will revisit the issue. I wouldn’t want to count my chickens before they hatch.
“Labour Party has eight senators out of 109 and about 35 in the House of Representatives out of 360. So, I don’t know if it would make any difference if the lawmakers in the party take it or not.
“I don’t think telling them to take or reject would make any difference, I don’t think it would affect anything. Having said that, we haven’t been given any vehicle yet, but they said they would give,” Imasuen said.