Two days to the end of the 8 years administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the President 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 would also leave behind their armoured, luxury vehicles, which would be taken over by their successors, the incoming President-elect and his Deputy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, gave the clarification in an interview, following the usual practice of government officials leaving office with their official vehicles.
Across the country and at all levels of government, it has become a norm for heads of the executive arm and some heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to leave office with government vehicles; some sold the vehicles to themselves at a rate many people describe as ridiculous; some allocate huge funds for themselves for the purpose of buying vehicles; while some buy or convert government properties to personal use after their tenure.
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.”