Facts have emerged on how the Senate distributed vehicles to only 36 members out of the 109 members in the upper legislative chamber.
A top member of the Senate revealed to newspeakonline.com today that several factors were considered in choosing who gets one.
The lawmaker, who spoke in confidence with newspeakonline.com, explained that the vehicles were distributed based one-per-state formula, translating to 36 vehicles for the 36 states of the federation.
According to the lawmaker, the vehicles were meant to serve only one senator out of three from each state in the discharge of their duties.
The senator explained that the criteria used in choosing who gets the vehicle out of the three senators in each state include experience in lawmaking, gender consideration and how the committee in which they serve ranks.
It was learnt that the Senate decided on the choice of only 36 vehicles to align with the current cash crunch in the country.
The vehicles, it was learnt, are not personal property of the beneficiaries. They are owned by the National Assembly. But they are meant to be used for official assignments by beneficiaries and shall be withdrawn when their tenure expires.
The lawmaker said:
“They are utility vehicles distributed one per state. The Senate opted for that because of the cash crunch hitting the country. However, there were laid down criteria for determining who gets the vehicle among the three senators from each state. The first is experience of the members in the art of law making. So, ranking senators or those who have been lawmakers either at the House of Representatives or state houses of assembly before stand a good chance of being considered first.
“The second is gender consideration. If any of the lawmakers is a female, she also stands a good chance. This is aimed at achieving gender balance.
“The third has to do with the committee they belong to. Some committees are ranked higher than others.
“So, those who got the vehicles were carefully selected. It was never a case of any senator supporting anybody or any other consideration. That is why beneficiaries are from the 36 states.”
The lawmaker described those claiming political consideration as divisive and misleading the public.