© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Lawmakers refute claims on car purchase, say “reps not distributing cars’’
THE leadership of the House of Representatives has on Friday denied claims by some media houses on the purchase and distribution of 400 official cars for its members.
This was disclosed in a press statement released by the House on its official Twitter page, adding that the National Assembly had already approved funds for NCDC, Lagos state and health workers.
The green chamber stated that, “It has come to the attention of the House that a newspaper report on Friday, March 27, 2020, had insinuated that the Green Chamber is distributing official vehicles for the 360 members of the House at this critical moment that the country is battling to contain Covid-19 pandemic.’’
The story the House added was rather unfortunate at a time that Nigeria and Nigerians are striving hard to address the pandemic that has forced the Federal Government, and even the various states’ governments, to take drastic measures.
The green chamber added that not only has the national assembly been closed since Tuesday the 24th of March in the wake of the pandemic, but also that most lawmakers were back to their constituencies.
‘’As a House, we are not unmindful of the mood of the nation, we are committed to ensuring the country stands united in these trying times.
‘’It is out of that commitment that the House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, introduced and passed the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020. It is on record that the leadership of the National Assembly on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, about 24 hours after adjournment, engaged some top government officials in the Executive arm and approved the release of N6.5BN for the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), N10BN for Lagos state, as part of efforts to address the issue of Covid-19 pandemic,’’ the statement read.
The lawmakers assured Nigerians that despite adjourning for two weeks to curb the spread of the virus, the House had expressed its readiness to reconvene at any time to consider measures aimed at addressing the situation, including a review of the 2020 Appropriation Act if need be.
The House further reinstated its commitment, as lawmakers, to join hands with the Executive arm to take measures aimed at containing the pandemic and providing succour to Nigerians because of the economic shock necessitated by COVID-19 all over the world.
The green chamber, therefore, urges Nigerians to disregard the newspaper report on the vehicles’ distribution, as mischief taken too far.
The statement added that the lawmakers went on the break only three days ago and not three weeks ago as earlier reported in the media.
‘’We only shut down three days ago and not three weeks ago as falsely and mischievously reported. The paper chose to ignore all the House did within this time, a special session on addressing the high numbers of schoolchildren, intervening in the strike action by FCT health workers,’’ the statement concluded.