A total of N21.1bn was spent on the procurement of vehicles for various ministries, departments and agencies within five months, Findings by The PUNCH have shown.
These approvals contained in a document obtained from the Bureau of Public Procurement, stated that 10 agencies got this disbursement between April and August 2023.
They include the Independent National Electoral Commission, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Population Commission, Nigerian Police Trust Fund, Independent Corruption Practices Commission, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Commission among others.
The Bureau said N4.5bn was awarded to various contractors for the procurement of an unspecified number of operational vehicles for the Nigerian Police Trust fund, while N1.91bn was given to Messrs Kaura and Wada for the purchase of 43 vehicles for the Independent Corruption Practices Commission.
As part of this approval, N8.55bn was spent on motor vehicles and tow trucks for the Federal Road Safety Corps, 37 work vehicles for the Transmission Commission of Nigeria at a cost of N1.36bn, and NPC, ICPC received N388.3m and N835.2m, respectively.
He said the policy to patronise local automakers was to insulate them from the policy that sought to drop import duties.
Speaking at the 26th Economic Summit, then President Muhammadu Buhari said, “We are not giving up on the local auto industry. We still have a relatively high duty at 35 per cent, so there is still a disincentive for importation. Secondly, we are promoting a policy that the government must buy only locally manufactured cars.”
Despite this move, car importers still enjoyed relative patronage from political leaders.
Recently, The PUNCH reported that the leadership of the National Assembly had announced the decision to purchase N160bn imported SUVs for each lawmaker and bulletproof vehicles for the principal officers.
The move generated heavy criticism, but the Senate defended the purchase of the SUVs, saying lawmakers needed the vehicles for their operations.