Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, has come forward to support the decision to purchase sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for members of the National Assembly. He argues that this move is not a new or unusual practice.
In recent times, there has been considerable criticism directed at National Assembly members when it was reported that each of the 469 lawmakers would be allocated an SUV valued at N160 million.
However, Senator Ndume believes that providing official vehicles for public servants is a common practice and not something out of the ordinary. He suggests that this has been a longstanding tradition, and it’s not the first time such a decision has been made to furnish government officials with vehicles for official use.
“Buying vehicles for public or civil servants is not a new thing. It is only as you, said, ‘What are the implications? What is the cost and what are the alternatives?” Ndume said when he appeared at a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He acknowledges that the public has every right to scrutinize the acquisition of these vehicles, particularly in light of Nigeria’s recent transition away from petrol subsidies. However, the senator maintains that these cars are essential for official duties.
“But for me, I come to serve and in serving the people, my major constitutional rule is oversight and making laws,” Ndume added.
“If I have to do that effectively, then I need a vehicle that would enable me to do that effectively. That is what I think is the idea behind buying the vehicles.”
“But it is not new that public servants, especially in the rank of ministers, and heads of parastatals get vehicles,” he said.
Senator Ndume pointed out that the price of these vehicles has gone up over the years. He’s also asking President Bola Tinubu to create a rule about unexplained wealth.
“I have tried several times [to introduce a bill on unexplained wealth] but you know, there were excuses here and there,” Ndume, the Senate Chief Whip said.
“I think the best way to get this across is when the bill comes from the executive or in the interim, the current president should sign an executive bill on unexplained wealth.”