The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Aviation to investigate the alleged purchase of $1.6 million bulletproof BMW cars for the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah.
The action followed a motion raised under matters of urgent public importance by the Minority Whip of the House, Rep Samson Osagie (APC- Edo).
News of the purchase of the cars has attracted outrage from Nigerians, with many calling for the minister’s sack.
Leading the debate Osagie argued that his motion was against the backdrop of the level of poverty nationwide.
“Given the level of poverty and unemployment in the country, it would be unpatriotic for an agency of government to indulge in expenditure for the comfort and safety of one public officer,” he said.
The lawmaker also said the action of NCAA and the Minister of Aviation negated the statutory authority of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
He said it was in the authority of the commission to make recommendations on the way public officers, including ministers were to be catered for by the state.
Also contributing to the debate, Reps Hassan Saleh, (PDP- Benue), Emmanuel Jime (PDP Benue), Matthew Omegara (APC- Imo) supported the motion.
They urged House to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to ensure that appropriate sanctions were meted to those involved in the purchase if found culpable.
Omegara said the House had turned down a request by NCAA to purchase vehicles in the 2013 budget.
He implored the House to also look into what the agencies of government do with their internally generated revenues.
The motion was eventually passed and the Committee on Aviation was mandated to carry out the investigation and report to the House within one week.
Meanwhile has also mandated its Committee on Aviation to investigate the alleged refusal by the ministry to allow some foreign airlines to operate from some airports in the country.
The resolution, adopted after, a motion brought to the House by Rep Aliyu Madaki (PDP- Kano), which alleged that the ministry had refused some airlines’ request to operate flights from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The House further directed the committee to investigate the renovation work done at MAKIA to ascertain whether the job was done as specified in the contract agreement.
The Committee is to report back within eight weeks.
The motion was adopted by the House when put to vote by the Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.
Moving the motion Madaki recalled that the ministry had blocked four foreign airlines -Qatar, Emirates, Turkish and Etihad – from extending their commercial flights to Abuja and Kano.
He expressed worry that the blocking of airlines was affecting the economic prospects of the northern part of the country.