After the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)’s backlash on Nigerian Senators for buying 108 cars, the Senate Committee on Senate Services has debunked the allegations claiming it only purchased 36 cars one for each state of the Federation and not the purported 108.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, during a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, gave the clarification stating that the Senate decided to purchase only 36 cars which cost about N36.5 million each due to lack of funds.
Explaining that the lawmakers were not insensitive to the economic realities, Gobir said;
“The issue that we got 108 cars is wrong. We only got 36 cars. Each Senator in every state is either a chairman or a vice, and we gave one car to each state to share among themselves as utility car. We gave a car to three Senators from each state to share among themselves.”
“On the cost of the cars, the showroom price is N36.5 million and we are surprised. The car we bought is Land Cruiser VSR V8 not V6 and the minimum showroom price is about N31 million and when you put 10 per cent VAT and Tax that will arrive at N36.5 million.”
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Defending the source of the money for the car purchase, Gobir said the cars were not bought without appropriation, he said it had been appropriated in the 2015 budget and they used what they had in the 2015 budget to buy the 36 cars.
Senator Gobir also denied claims that the 109 Senators had collected loans to purchase their official cars. He said no lawmaker was given any car loan, contrary to media reports.
The upper chamber lamented the level of criticism on the National Assembly in spite of efforts to cut down on cost to meet present economic reality, reminding the public that there is no Minister that hasn’t got about three, four cars – one Land Cruiser, maybe a back-up and two Hilux cars.
Gobir also mentioned that there is no Director in the civil service that hasn’t got a car. There is no permanent secretary that hasn’t got a Land Cruiser. “In fact, every House of Assembly member has either a Prado or a Land Cruiser and here is a Senator, and you say he cannot have one Land Cruiser.’’
On Monday, the NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, had called on the lawmakers to return the cars or face its wrath of Nigerians, saying that the purchase of the cars was “wrong and insensitive” in the face of the suffering of the masses.
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