Senate Insists on Planned Purchase of Luxury Cars Despite Public Outrage, Gives Reason

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The Nigerian Senate has insisted on going ahead with its planned purchase of luxury vehicles for lawmakers despite criticisms from the public and concerns about the state of the nation’s economy.

Bellnews reports that the Senate’s decision to continue with the purchase of the luxury cars was conveyed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Services, Sunday Karimi, on Tuesday.

He told journalists in Abuja that the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly decided to purchase durable vehicles that would last for four years.

Karimi said, “Somebody that is a Minister has more than three land cruisers, prado and other vehicles and you are not asking them questions, why us? And these vehicles that you see, go to Nigeria roads today, If I go home once, my senatorial district, I come back spending a lot on my vehicles because our roads are bad. Am I talking to somebody?

“It was based on a comparative analysis of the cost of technical issues and durability on Nigerian roads… We want something that we can maintain for another four years,” Karimi added. “And the issue of buying vehicles for the National Assembly, you know it is a recurring issue, it occurs every assembly, it will always come up.”

Responding to a question on the cost of the vehicles, he said, “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 business man and you supply vehicles for somebody in 2014 or 2015 or so and up till now they are owing you. I am not trying to defend anybody, if you see them selling, hello?

“ If land cruiser in the market is let’s say, it is ‘A’ cost, you don’t expect somebody that will supply it to supply it at the price they are selling it in the market.

“It has to leave a margin and the civil service for supply they allowed for 25% margin plus that and VAT and I think that VAT is 7.5. Out of that 25% margin they will still remove 5% tax from it.

“You are telling someone to supply and he may even not end up making payment for three years and you want him to supply at the price they are selling in the market, it is not possible.”

The Senate’s decision was met with public outrage, with many Nigerians criticising the lawmakers for prioritising their luxury over the needs of the people.

The purchase of the vehicles is to cover the needs of the 469 members of the National Assembly. The upper chamber, the Senate, has 109 members, while the lower chamber being the House of Representatives has 360 members.

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