Raymond Ozoji, Nnewi
Contrary to insinuations from some quarters that the Anambra State House of Assembly is currently in fresh controversy over a proposal by the state government to distribute 30 Toyota Prado Jeeps to the lawmakers for the discharge of their official duties, some lawmakers of the 7th assembly have blatantly denied such insinuations describing it as mere propaganda.
A section of the lawmakers who spoke on anonymity, had last week complained about the delay in the provision of statutory allowances and other entitlements by the state government, contending that the purchase of Toyota Prado Jeeps to the tune of almost N1billion is an unnecessary waste of funds when a similar vehicle produced by INNOSON Motors Limited would cost less.
The angry lawmakers who spoke to reporters in conjunction with the All
Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidates in the South East noted that other governors of the South East and South South had been patronizing the local car manufacturing company INNOSON Nnewi but Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State where the auto factory is situated is not keen on patronizing the company.
Also, the chairman, southeast conference of 2019 APC House of Assembly Candidates Hon. Afam Ezenwafor yesterday 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.
Continuing Ezenwafor said that, the market price for 2018 model of Prado Jeep for the 30 members of the state Assembly is about N33 million each. He wondered why about N1 billion of Anambra state fund would be taken outside the shores instead of using it to purchase Innoson IVM SUV Jeeps for the House members.
‘You can’t be talking of ‘Aku lue uno, shouting it only on media, without patronizing 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”, the Southeast APC 2019
House of Assembly Candidates advised.
He urged the southeast governors to make it mandatory for all commissioners, Assembly members, local govt chairmen, permanent secretaries, head of agencies and all other govt officials to use IVM as their official cars adding that it would reduce high demands on foreign exchange by patronizing our locally made goods.
He commended the ex-governor Peter Obi for buying over 500 pieces of Innoson vehicles during his administration. “Obi procured Innoson motors for AVS, schools and local govt councils in the state, it is worthy of emulation.
“I commend gov Ugwuanyi of Enugu state who purchased over 100 hilux pickups from Innoson motors for the security agencies in the state. Other southeast governors must do same. We can only grow our local
economy and encourage think home investment when our leaders patronize local contents, governors of Imo, Abia and Ebonyi are not patronizing Innoson motors and that’s sad, that attitude must change.
“I also commend the military for patronizing Innoson motors”, he said. But the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr. Emeka Ozumba told reporters that there was no cause for alarm adding that both the executive and legislative arms of government had continued to enjoy harmonious relationship urging the public to discountenance those allegations.
Meanwhile, Chukwunonso Noble Igwe of Ogbaru one state constituency in the 7th state assembly who spoke exclusively to our correspondent said there was no controversy whatsoever among lawmakers concerning any issue.
Igwe said they were one indivisible whole and that they all see eyeball to eyeball in their legislative sessions adding that nothing of such existed in the state assembly.
Corroborating what his colleague said about the rumour of PRADO jeeps for lawmakers, the House Committee Chairman on Information and Public Enlightenment , Hon. Okechukwu Okoye said such rumours were mere propaganda intended to destabilize the unity and progress of the 7th state assembly.
Okoye said , “There is nothing like that. People just go about spreading propaganda here and there.” He was silent on the issue of unpaid statutory allowances to legislators in the state assembly .