Following the recent purchase and delivery of 108 Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) by the senate for its members which reportedly cost of N3.8 billion, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has called on senators who benefited from the purchase to immediately return the cars or face the wrath of Nigerians.
Describing the exorbitant purchase as a crime against the people, the NLC condemns the move saying it’s coming at a time the country is enduring excruciating financial crisis.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, on Monday, said it was “morally despicable and shameful” that the lawmakers embarked on such acquisition when they were supposed to occupy themselves with issues that would benefit the people.
Mr. Wabba, stressed that the decision of the Senate to buy the Luxury cars was reprehensible and indeed only showed that the lawmakers were greedy and insensitive to the current economic plight of Nigerians after collecting car loans in August last year for the same purpose.
The union further states that it is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds.
Alleging that the price of the vehicles were grossly inflated by over a 100 percent, as each car supposedly cost N35.1 million instead of N17 million, the union demanded that the lawmakers explain where they sourced the funds since the 2016 Appropriation Bill had not been signed into law.
Wabba called on relevant agencies to investigate the issues involved in the Senate’s acquisition of the 108 vehicles, stressing that Nigerians were interested in how the Senate got the money to purchase the vehicles and why the Senate spent money not appropriated for.
Arguing that the money could have been put to better uses such as the constituency projects of these same Senators, Wabba questions how the Senate could afford such level of reckless luxury and arrogance in the face of the severe economic challenges facing the country.
The NLC therefore demanded that the senators return those cars to whoever supplied them or the appropriate agencies prosecute them for corruption. In the event none of this happens, Wabba warns that they should be prepared to keep a date with Nigerian workers and their civil society allies including market women and students.