Buhari reduces cars in motorcade

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

…Saraki, Dogara retain long convoys

President Muhammadu Buhari has cut down the number of vehicles in the presidential motorcade, sources told Daily Trust.

The sources said this is part of the measures aimed at reducing the cost of governance.

However, Daily Trust findings have shown that Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s motorcades have remained unchanged.

The president moves in a motorcade of about 12 vehicles as counted by our reporters recently. The senate president and the speaker’s convoys comprise of an average of 10 vehicles each.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan maintained not less that 23 cars in his motorcade.

The highest number of vehicles in Buhari’s ministers’ convoys is four while the lowest number is two as observed by our reporters.

On the eve of inaugurating his ministers last month, Buhari warned his ministers-designate to avoid large convoys, long protocol and retinue of aides.

The president gave this directive at the end of the two-day retreat he organised for the new ministers at the Presidentail Villa in Abuja.

Speaking on behalf of the ministers, Minister of Labour Dr Chris Ngige said the new government “will be running a lean economy because we are going to block areas of leakages. Retinue of aides, protocol staff and large convoys of cars are things that will not fly in this administration.”

Checks by our reporters revealed that there are 12 cars in Buhari’s convoy. Our correspondents observed this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on December 7 shortly after the president arrived from a function.

The president’s convoy at that time just arrived from the Shehu Musa Yar’adua International Conference Centre where he attended the public presentation of the book “From Opposition to Governing Party: Nigeria’s APC Merger Story” written by Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu.

The convoy included eight Mercedes cars, two BMW cars, one black Range Rover Sports Utility Vehicle, and one pick-up vehicle of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

There is the likelihood that the president may have other cars of security details.

Not long after he took office President Buhari turned down a request by senior government officials to buy new cars worth N400 million.

He said at the time that the ones he inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan were good enough for him to use.

The convoy of the Senate President Saraki has a total of eight cars, our reporters observed. They are Mercedes Benz S500, one staff car, and the other one serves as spare.

Also on the convoy of the senate president are two security vehicles, two jeeps, and two other cars that ferry his aides.

The convoy has two power bikes. It was observed that the convoy of Saraki is longer when going for functions outside the National Assembly.

Speaker Dogara moves around with over eight different cars in his convoy, Daily Trust observed.

Of the eight cars, there are two S600 V12 Mercedes Benz, which serve as the staff cars. Also in Dogara’s convoy are two Land Cruiser SUVs, two police Hilux vans, one Camry LE and a Peugeot 406. There are also two dispatch riders that usually move in front of the speaker’s convoy.

It was observed that the two Hilux vans are usually occupied by officers of the Nigeria Police attached to the speaker, while the two Land Cruiser SUVs are occupied by other security details attached to the speaker.

The Camry and the Peugeot 406 are occupied by other aides to the speaker, who follow him in most of the places he goes.

Also, our correspondents observed that Dogara’s deputy Yussuf Suleimon Lasun’s convoy comprises of an S600 Mercedes Benz staff car, two Hilux vans, two SUVs and a Camry sedan with two dispatch riders.

Even former governors who are now in Buhari’s cabinet who are used to elaborate convoys and protocol, are now using very lean convoys.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola has about five vehicles in his convoy. The former Lagos state governor is heading three ministries now collapsed into one.

Our reporter observed that the minister’s car port at the works ministry has three Land Cruiser SUVs and one Prado SUV with some of them bearing private number plates. It has three black and white pilot Hilux vans.

The Prado most times is used by the security detail attached to the minister.

The other car port which seems to be for the Minister of State, Mr. Mustapha Shehuri was observed to have two Prado SUVs as well, and one Land Cruiser SUV during the early office hours yesterday.

Being three ministries earlier, Daily Trust observed that each minister then had a minimum of one Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and another Toyota Prado SUV.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGE) and minister of justice Abubakar Malami SAN, has three vehicles in his convoy. They are a Hilux van and two Land cruiser SUVs.

Education minister Malam Adamu Adamu has three vehicles which include a Toyota Hilux van, a Land cruiser SUV and a white sedan.

The minister of communication Adebayo Shittu’s has three vehicles in his convoy.

Daily Trust reporters observed that when the minister attended his first official assignment, the eNigeria Conference on November 17, he came with three vehicles: a Prado jeep, a Hilux van and another ministry staff bus.

The new FCT minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello moves with only three vehicles in his convoy. They are a pilot van, Land Cruiser SUV and a back up van.

The new Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, moves in a convoy of two vehicles.

Daily Trust observed recently that the minister in charge of the Budget and National Planning ministry Udoma Udo Udoma, moves in a convoy of three vehicles.

Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources is driven in a black-tinted Range Rover Sport 2014. Two black-coloured Toyota Prado SUVs and a Toyota Hilux van were part of his convoy when he was spotted in one public function.

The Minister of Information and Culture was on November 20, seen using six vehicles, four of which were Toyota Land cruiser SUVs and two Hilux vans.

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