The ad hoc Welfare Committee set up by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has recommended the purchase of foreign SUV cars worth N 5.5 billion for senators.
The panel which is headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari was constituted immediately after the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
A source said the panel rejected suggestions by some members to patronise local automobile firms citing fear of poor quality.
“Since the vehicles would be given to members on loans, we should be careful not to purchase vehicles that we may not be able to guarantee their quality and durability”.
“There was a time that the House of Representatives purchased ‘Made-in-Nigeria’ cars for their members but we know the complaints that greeted the exercise.
“We want to avoid such situation that is why we settled for the importation of brand new jeeps that would meet the standard and specification of our members who would pay for them from their salaries and allowances.
Another source ,who pleaded anonymity, said arrangements for the purchase of the new vehicles would be concluded before the lawmakers resume on September 24.
It was learnt that the Senate was considering the purchase of Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs for its 109 members at an estimated cost of about N50m each which would bring the total cost to about N 5.5 billion naira including additional cars for presiding officers.