ABUJA – Members of the ninth House of Representatives will accept locally manufactured Innoson Motors as official cars if offered to them, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, has said.
Hon. Kalu who stated this while briefing journalists on Thursday in Abuja on legislative activities in the House for the week, also said that issues regarding the need to diversify the nation’s economy using science and technology featured prominently in the debate on the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
He said comparative analysis of knowledge based economies such as the U.S. and China that churn out hundreds of thousands of patents on innovations yearly was done, with members stressing the need to encourage more research and development.
Kalu noted that the executive arm of government was roundly commended for encouraging patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods by getting the military and some heads of department and agencies to patronise Innoson motors, a locally manufactured brand in Anambra State, South East Nigeria.
Asked if members of the 9th House would take a cue from the executive by asking for Innoson motors as their official vehicles, Kali said, “why not?”
“Members will accept Innoson motors if they are offered to us. If the military is using it and other government agencies and departments have opted for it, why not us? But you should also know that we don’t control these things but if they are offered to us, anything that can take us about to do our jobs, why not?
“These cars are not small vehicles; they are luxury vehicles and can match any brand elsewhere in terms of comfort and standard. I doubt if Nigeria can even afford them,” he said.
The Reps’ spokesman also applauded the media on its coverage of the budget presentation on Tuesday by the House, saying, “How you covered the event on Tuesday, even the old woman and man in the village knew that yes, the President has come to lay the budget estimates. And that could have only been possible through your reportage.
“Today, we ended debate on the general principles of the Appropriation Bill. And the public must have by now seen that this 9th Assembly is not going to be a rubber stamp to the executive. So you saw the level of debate and argument around the budget from members.
“If they were criticism, they were not meant to slight the executive but to point out pending areas of improvement. And you also know that we cannot effectively speak to the budget estimates without adequately taking critical appraisals of the 2019 budget as far as implementation is concerned.”