THE Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the leadership of the National Assembly over plans by the lawmakers to utilise N110bn as palliative and to purchase bulletproof and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
This was disclosed by the organisation via its official Twitter handle on Sunday, August 13.
“We’ve sued the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of House of Reps, Tajudeen Abbas over the unlawful plan to spend N110 billion to buy exotic and bulletproof cars for lawmakers and to provide ‘palliatives’ for new members,” SEARP posted.
In the suit, which was filed on Friday, August 11, SERAP demanded that Akpabio and Abbas be compelled to reduce the N40 billion budgeted for purchasing vehicles and repeal the Supplementary Appropriation Act 2022.
“SERAP is seeking ‘an order restraining Mr Akpabio and Mr Abbas from demanding or receiving the N40 billion to buy 465 SUVs and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials until an assessment of the socio-economic impact of the spending on the 137 million poor Nigerians is carried out in the public interest’ ” the organisation noted in a statement.
While Nigerians struggle with the rising cost of living occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy and unification of the naira, members of the National Assembly approved N70bn to support the working conditions and an extra N40bn for the acquisition of vehicles.
The N110 billion shared among the 469 members of the National Assembly amounts to N234.5 million per legislator.
A report by The ICIR showed that the earmarked sum could improve the state of various sectors in the country, including health and education.
The report showed that N110bn could construct at least 3600 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) in different communities in Nigeria, going by the national budget of N30m per PHC contained in the national budget.
It can also be used to build 1,360 blocks of 11 standard classrooms across a country where overcrowded classroom continues to affect the quality of education provided, The ICIR reported.