According to PREMIUM TIMES, the cars will cost taxpayers an estimated N4.7billion that could be spent on vaccinating newborns and save them from dying or on providing electricity for remote communities so kids stop doing school assignments using paraffin lamps.
The upper legislative chamber is buying the vehicles at a time millions of Nigerians are facing severe
economic hardship, including nonpayment of salaries.
The procurement is also happening at a time millions of Nigerians are enduring long and humiliating fuel queues across the country because the federal government is too broke to pay importers of petrol several billions in subsidy claims.
As proof for their claim, PT says the management of the National Assembly has invited bids from contractors interested in supplying the vehicles.
In an advertisement published in some newspapers, including Blueprint of November 20, 2015, the authorities asked the companies to tender for “Lot 1S, Supply of Utility Vehicles”.
The advert, in what appears a deliberate ploy to conceal details, failed to indicate the number, type and specification of vehicles being bought.
However, PREMIUM TIMES has now obtained detailed copies of tender documents being discreetly issued to prospective contractors.
In one of the documents, the Senate indicated it was buying:
- 120 units of Toyota Land Cruiser, 2016 model.
Other details of the vehicles included that they must be:
- “American Brand, V8, VXR, 5.7, Auto Engine WITH INTELLIGENCE”.
The senators also want the vehicles to come with:
- integrated navigator cruise control,
- QI-Compatible wireless charging and Kinetic dynamic suspension system, as well as being “full option”.
On November 21, the Senate also put up another advert it labelled “addendum”.
The latest advert under Lot 2S, which was couched to look like an oversight in the first advert, was for the purchase of vehicles for the use of the senate president’s convoy.
Under Lot 2S and based on the tender document, which they have also obtained, the national assembly is seeking to purchase a 2016 model Mercedes Benz S550 for Mr. Saraki.
Other vehicles being procured for Mr. Saraki include:
- four 2016 Toyota Prado jeeps,
- four 2016 Toyota Hilux SS (Auto)
- as well as a 2016 model Toyota Hiace Bus.
The spokesperson for the Senate, Aliyu Sabi, could not be reached Saturday to comment on these new procurement as his telephone was switched off the several times their reporter called.
The Director of Information of the National Assembly, Ishaku Dibal, declined to comment on the matter. He said he was driving and couldn’t comment after Premium Times' reporter put his question to him.
Subsequent calls to his telephone failed to connect.