Anambra lawmakers reject N1bn foreign cars, clamour for local brand

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 25 September 2019 | 812 times

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Members of the Anambra State House of Assembly have rejected the State Government’s proposal to offer lawmakers Toyota Prado Jeeps to the tune of N1 billion for the discharge of their oversight functions.

According to the lawmakers, the money involved in the purchase of the cars is unnecessary since the cars can be sourced locally from Innoson Motors in Nnewi, Anambra State.

The angry lawmakers, who spoke to journalists in conjunction with the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidates in the South East, wondered why Governor Willie Obiano, in whose state Innoson auto factory is domiciled, while other South-East governors are patronising the car maker.

Some lawmakers had last week lamented the delay in the payment of statutory allowances and other entitlements by the State Government.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr. Emma Madu, denied knowledge of the car gift.

While addressing journalists, the Chairman, South-East Conference of 2019, APC House of Assembly Candidates, Hon. Afam Ezenwafor, said: “We are addressing you all on behalf of the lawmakers because of its implications on the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) lawmakers who are in the vanguard of encouraging locally made goods so that they do not become victims of witch-hunting by the powers that be in Awka.”

He explained that the market value for 2018 model of Prado Jeep for the 30 members of the State Assembly is about N33m each.

“Why should about N1 billion of Anambra state fund will be taken outside the shores of the state even it can be used to purchase Innoson IVM SUV Jeeps for the House members?

“You can’t be talking of ‘Aku lue uno’ (home grown investments), shouting it only on media without patronising our local investors. In fact, the Speaker, Hon Uche Okafor, should stop the planned purchase of SUV Prado Jeeps and ask the governor to rather get Innoson Jeeps for them,” Ezenwafor said.

He urged South-East governors to make it mandatory for all commissioners, Assembly members, local government chairmen, permanent secretaries, heads of agencies and all other government officials to use IVM as their official cars.

While noting that patronising locally made products would help reduce high demands on foreign exchange, Ezenwafor hailed Ex-Governor Peter Obi for buying over 500 pieces of Innoson motors during his administration, saying: “Obi procured Innoson motors for AVS, schools and local government councils in the state. It is worthy of emulation.

“I commend Governor Ugwuanyi of Enugu State who purchased over 100 Hilux pickups from Innoson Motors for the security agencies in the state.

“Other South-East governors must do same. We can only grow our local economy and encourage think home investment when our leaders patronise local contents.

“Governors of Abia Imo and Ebonyi states are not patronising Innoson Motors and that’s sad. That attitude must change. I also commend the military for patronising Innoson Motors.”

In his reaction, the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Willie Obiano, Mr. Emeka Ozumba, said that there was no cause for alarm, adding that both the Executive and legislative arms of government have continued to enjoy harmonious relationship.

He enjoined the public to disregard the allegations.


Source: News Express

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