As the 7th Assembly winds down on Friday June 5th, 2015, #senators and members of the House of Representatives in the National Assembly have struck a deal with the management of the legislature to retain their official operational vehicles and saundry by making a 30 percent payment for them.
With this special arrangement in place, each of the 109 senators who had a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, commonly referred to as ‘jeep’, assigned to them for “operational” purposes like carrying out committee and oversight duties would be paying N2.7 million to retain them instead of the orignal value price of N9 million.
In a similar vein, each member of the House of Representatives having a 2011 model Toyota Camry attached to them for operational duties will be paying about N1.9 million to go home with them instead of the valued amount of N6.5 million.
An official of the National Assembly management, who confirmed the “deal” to The PUNCH in Abuja on Tuesday, said, “The cars have been used for four years, so this valuation has taken cognisance of the years of depreciation.
“The vehicles are not taken away free of charge and as a matter of fact, it is optional. A lawmaker who does not want to go with the vehicle will submit it to the National Assembly and it will be so documented.
“The deduction will be done from their severance package at source, which makes it easier.
“It is a practice that has been on over the years.”
Investigations also showed that, aside the operational vehicles, each of the senators, on resumption in 2011, was given 300 per cent of their total basic salaries as car loans and 300 per cent as housing allowance. About 250 per cent was advanced to them as furniture allowance.
Each of the senators, according to investigations, is receiving N1.8m basic salary monthly while the Senate #President’s basic salary per month, is N2m.
One of our correspondents learnt that the car loan, which was about N6.5m per senator and N7m for the senate president, was used to buy a brand new Toyota Camry car each.
The amount, according to a senior member of staff of the National Assembly, was deducted from the basic salaries of the senators within two years.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press, said the arrangement was a departure from the past practice whereby some senators went away with their operational vehicles as parting gifts.
He said, “The loans were obtained for the lawmakers through the banks where their salary accounts are domiciled, hence the bankers usually deduct certain percentage agreed upon from their monthly payments to service the car, housing and furniture loans.”
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