In what could be described as a quick response to the public outcry of Nigerians, the Senate has defended its decision to purchase dozens of Toyota Land Cruisers for their use.
Speaking in defence of the Senate, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Services, Ibrahim Gobir spoke with newsmen on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Senator Gobir said the specification of the acquired vehicles were higher than those the press had reported.
He disclosed that the Senate purchased only 36 vehicles, contrary to media reports that it procured 108 cars.
Here’s what Senator Gobir said:
“A lot has been happening within the last two days concerning the issue of cars, car loan, appropriation and cost of the cars and we feel it necessary to come out and inform the public about it.
“This is so, so that people can have a better understanding of the whole thing to avoid wrong perception as being created among Nigerians.
“That we bought 108 cars is totally wrong; it is not correct. We bought 36 cars.
He said “These 36 cars, each senator in each state is either a chairman or a vice chairman and we gave one car to each state to share as utility car. So, we don’t have money to buy 108 cars.
“We had a closed session and they agreed that we should give one car per state; we sat down and agreed who needs the car most and that was what happened,”
“So, we used what we have in the 2015 budget to buy the 36 cars so that it can go round to each state,”
“We are supposed to buy 109 cars but because of the paucity of funds, because of our sensitivity and concern for lack of funds, we bought only 36 to go round per state,”
“Come to think of it, there is no minister that hasn’t got about three, four cars – one Land Cruiser, maybe a back-up and two Hilux cars.
“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 you say he cannot have one Land Cruiser,” he added