The Senate on Tuesday shed more light on reasons for the planned purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for members of the upper legislative chamber despite the economic hardship in the country.
Sunday Karimi, Chairman of the committee on services, in a chat with reporters in Abuja, said the lawmakers want vehicles that would last for the next four years.
Recall that the lawmakers are under fire over the proposed purchase of expensive vehicles at such a difficult period where since the removal of the petrol subsidy by the Federal Government, the cost of living in the country has skyrocketed.
According to Karimi, an analysis was done before they arrived at ordering Land Cruiser SUVs for the Senators.
“Somebody that is a minister has more than three land cruisers, Prado and other vehicles and you are not asking them questions, why us?
”If I go to my senatorial district, I come back spending a lot on my vehicles because our roads are bad.
“I said the decision that we took on using Land Cruiser is — you know they have exchanged the price analysis and other sections, including the cost and durability. Are you getting me?
“Before they came up with this, it is not the decisions of the senators alone, we did an analysis before arriving at Land Cruiser.
“If you go to state houses of assembly today, check out, most of them, before they were even inaugurated, the governor would have bought vehicles waiting for them. Even local government chairmen.
“I drove the vehicle my local government chairman uses, so why [not the] national assembly?
“The cost, let me tell you, hello, listen to me, you know I am the chairman service, when I came into the senate, when they gave me their liability, they have a liability of over N16 billion that is made up of different things including vehicles of 7th assembly, 8th and 9th assembly.
“If you are a businessman and you supplied vehicles for somebody in 2014 or 2015 or so and up till now they are owing you.”