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₦‎160 Billion SUVs: Reps Take Delivery, Senators Await Luxury Jeeps This Week

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Lawmakers in the Green Chamber have started taking delivery of their Sports Utility Vehicles, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.

 

Similarly, legislators in the Red Chamber will receive the first batch of the SUVs this week.

 

It was also gathered that the last tranche of the SUVs for use by the lawmakers would arrive before December.

The PUNCH reported that the leadership of the National Assembly had announced the decision to purchase imported SUVs for each lawmaker and bulletproof vehicles for the principal officers.

The move has generated heavy criticism, with some citizens lampooning the parliamentarians for being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians amid the high cost of living.

The Human Rights Writers Association earlier criticised the move, stating that procuring SUVs for federal lawmakers was provocative at a time when most families could barely feed their members three square meals per day, and hospitals and roads were collapsing rapidly across the country.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the National Assembly from procuring and taking delivery of exotic and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials pending the hearing and determination of the applications for injunction filed by the organisation.

But the Senate defended the purchase of the SUVs, saying lawmakers needed the vehicles for their operations.

The spokesperson for the House of Representatives, Akin Rotimi, told our correspondent that members of the House had started taking delivery of the vehicles.

He also noted that priority was given to female lawmakers and people with disabilities, and much emphasis was laid on people without pending court cases.

Rotimi said, “Some members have started taking delivery of their vehicles. Priority was given to women in the parliament, people with any form of disability and the elderly.

“The management has also ensured that only members who have been fully disposed of their court cases will be given the vehicles to avoid problems.”

Corroborating this, a member of the Green Chamber, who pleaded anonymity, noted that the management was very keen on members justifying the use of the vehicle for their legislative operations.

The source noted that the management had issued a circular to members not to sell any of the vehicles, stating clearly that it was the property of the National Assembly.

The source said, “This particular Assembly is very particular about things being done right. In previous assemblies, people would collect their vehicles and sell them off, but the Speaker has put his foot down against such.

“The spokesperson was mandated to issue a statement internally to members and ensure that no member must sell their vehicles as they are National Assembly property.

“Beyond the circular, the management is seriously following up, particularly to justify the purchase, because the vehicles were bought to give lawmakers a level of autonomy from the executive.”

According to top-level sources, the vehicles will arrive in three batches for the use of the committee chairmen and members.

Another source stated that although the vehicles had generated a lot of controversy and public discussions, they were to aid the lawmakers in performing their duties.

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Breaking news: Minimum Wage: Labour rejects FG’s N54,000 offer

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The organised labour has rejected the Federal Government N54,000 new minimum wage proposal.

 

According to reliable source, the meeting on the ongoing negotiations on new minimum wage has been adjourned till Wednesday after the organised labour.

 

Media report has it that the Federal Government upped its offer from its earlier proposed N48,000 to N54,000.

Tuesday’s meeting came as a result of the walkout staged by members of the organised labour following the proposal of N48,000 as minimum wage by the Federal Government during last week’s meeting.

During that meeting, the OPS had also proposed N54,000 while labour insisted on its N615,000 living wage demand.

Our correspondent who spoke to sources who attended the follow-up meeting on Tuesday learnt that the Federal Government upped its offer from N48,000 to N54,000.

“Well, during the meeting, the government increased its offer from N48,000 to N54,000. However, labour rejected that offer and the meeting has been adjourned till Wednesday,” a source who asked not to be named said.

When asked if the government’s side was showing any sign of seriousness, the labour leader said, “No seriousness at all. Even state governors did not show up. Those who represented them, like Bauchi and Niger states, did not have the mandates to speak on their behalf.

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Real Madrid’s goalkeeper shares recovery insights after two injuries

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has opened up about his recovery journey following two serious knee injuries.

 

Courtois said, “In August, I cried because the worst thing that can happen to you in football is a cruciate ligament injury. When I returned home, I said that I was going to work hard and come back stronger. That was my idea from the beginning: to stay positive, fight, never give up, and push my limits.

 

“Many thought my season was over, but I knew it wasn’t,” Courtois told Marca.

Recall that for most of the current season, Courtois missed out due to two injuries: a cruciate ligament tear and a meniscus injury. In his absence, first-choice goalkeeper was Chelsea’s loanee Kepa Arrizabalaga, and later, he faced competition from Andriy Lunin.

Upon his return, Courtois played in 3 La Liga matches, keeping clean sheets in all of them. In the last game against Alaves, the Belgian made 10 saves.

Earlier, it was reported that Courtois’ recovery from injury will be featured in a documentary series.

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