Many Nigerians have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure over news that members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives have chosen to buy foreign cars as utility vehicles, after rejecting an initial proposal to patronise local carmakers like Innoson.
The lawmakers resolved to purchase some 400 units of Toyota Camry 2020 model instead. Note that the exotic cars cost between N9 million and N12 million, depending on the variants. These price ranges exclude the cost of shipping cars to Nigeria.
One of the lawmakers, who spoke to The Punch Newspaper secretly, described how they felt like the person who suggested Innoson Vehicles was simply being sarcastic.
“It is Toyota Camry 2020. Manga will supply 300 of the vehicles. The person who supplied the Senate will supply the remaining 100. Someone suggested Innoson. I feel he was being sarcastic. He is from Anambra.”
Already, about 14 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeeps have reportedly been shared among presiding and principal officers, including the Chairmen of some House committees. The new 400 orders will be shared among the lawmakers. Some top management staff of the Nigerian House of Representatives also stand a chance to benefit.
In the meantime, Nigerians are enraged about this development. One Twitter user recalled how the government closed the borders because they want Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products. He then wondered why lawmakers want to disregard Innosson to patronise foreign car brands.
The borders are closed because they want us to patronize Nigerian products and NASS wants to import 400 exotic cars; not INNOSON. I'm 95% sure that in the houses of all politicians including Mr "Integrity" Buhari, none of them have a grain of Nigerian rice in them.
— Dexbrown Civil (@Eni_akanda) February 18, 2020
Akoke Alabi expressed a similar opinion, stressing that the move by the federal lawmakers is a huge letdown to the Nigerian people. According to her, foreigners are not buying Nigerian cars and they might never do. Therefore, it behooves Nigerians to do the right thing by buying Nigerian cars. If lawmakers cannot do this, then who will?
Japanese, Chinese, German, American or British MPs, will not buy Nigerian cars!
We have Innoson vehicles..that is our Nigerian brand.
To think that these are Federal lawmakers paid & funded w our taxes..they are a real let down..
— Ajoke Alabi (@LagosDriver) February 18, 2020
But not everybody is in favour of Innoson Vehicles. Success Adams claimed that the brand is simply overvalued and overrated, which is possibly why it is often overlooked a lot by Nigerians.
Truth be said, Innoson is over valued and over rated. I trust Nigerians, we will buy if their prices are not outrageous.
Look at KIA motors when the came to Nigeria, you could buy a brand new car for 1m or lesser. I guess you can't get a KIA car at that 1m range now.
— Success Adams (@12SAdams) February 18, 2020