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HomeNEWSDon’t go with official vehicles, Presidency warns ministers

Don’t go with official vehicles, Presidency warns ministers

Two days to the end of the eight-year regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari and handover of power to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on May 29, the Presidency has said ministers will not be allowed to leave office with their official vehicles.

It said they would only get what the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission prescribes as their severance benefits.

It noted further that Buhari and the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), would also leave behind their armoured, luxury vehicles, which would be taken over by their successors, Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima, respectively.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, gave the clarification , following the usual practice of government officials leaving office with their official vehicles.

Shehu stated that Buhari, Osinbajo and the ministers would not leave office on May 29 with the vehicles allocated to them.

He said, “As we speak today, nobody is entitled to official cars. What they use are project vehicles. These ones can only be boarded and sold after four years of usage. That is when the book value has been exhausted.

“This is as far as the law recommends as we speak. So, don’t expect that because ministers are leaving, they will carry their vehicles under Buhari. It is not going to happen. If the ministers are not taking their vehicles along, you don’t expect the president to take any. It is not going to happen.”

The presidential spokesperson explained that the law already provides for former presidents and their deputies to get a certain number of vehicles at certain intervals, and that there was no need for them to take government vehicles.

He stated, “Former Heads of State have a prescribed number of vehicles they are entitled to, which may be changed after a certain number of years. And the President has kept to this by supplying that number of vehicles to all former Heads of State each time it is due. The President will not place himself above the others; that I can assure you.”

‘Vehicles too sophisticated’

Meanwhile, a top source in the Presidency has explained that the vehicles used by the President and the Vice-President were purpose-built and could not be used by private citizens, which the occupants of the offices become after leaving office.

The source noted that apart from the high cost of the vehicles, they come with high-end customisation, including security and other features.

The source said the vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Toyota Land Cruiser sport utility vehicles, buses and luxury vans, meet certain comfort, security and durability requirements.

Findings by one of our correspondents revealed that the President and the Vice-President use armoured 2019 Mercedes Benz Maybach S650 bullet-proof sedans, which some experts estimate to be worth at least N300m.

The Buhari-led government earmarked N907m in 2018 for a phased acquisition of new vehicles and spare parts for the presidential fleet.

The 2019 budget also allocated N843m for the purchase and maintenance of motor vehicles.



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