“Can Distinguished Senators Be Expected To Use Tokunbo Cars?” – APC Lawmaker
Senator Ali Ndume has inferred that Nigerians should stop complaining about plans the National Assembly has to spend N4.7 billion on vehicles.
During an interview with Channels TV, Senate Majority Leader, Ndume (APC, Borno) said ministers, permanent secretaries and other government agencies enjoy the use of new official cars and that their case should be no different.
He said Senators cannot be expected to use second hand vehicles used by their predecessors in the Assembly before them.
Ndume who is a member of the legislative body expected to look after the interest of Nigerians must have forgotten that most Nigerians use second hand cars due to the harsh economic conditions in the country, and the high import tariffs placed on car imports by the Federal Government make it difficult for many Nigerians to afford even recent Tokunbo cars, with many having to opt for cars more than 5 years old.
Excerpts from his interview here:
Question: Where are the cars that were purchased by the 7th Senate?
Senate Leader Ndume: You are talking about cars that were purchased four years ago. The cars have since been sold in line with the tradition. At the time, the cars were valued, those that were interested in buying them, bought theirs and those that were not returned theirs. I think the cars were sold for about N3 million or there abouts. Between you and God, a Prado jeep that was used for four years, will it cost more than N3 million? Are you expecting a Senator or Rep to use a car that is four years old?
Two, is it fair while a minister is using a minimum of four cars and a Senator or Rep would be driving one old car? How many cars are permanent secretaries using or even heads of agencies? You people should be fair to us. What I assure you is that we will always follow due process in whatever we are doing and we will be guided by the constitution.”
Question:You were given car loans and now you are buying cars for yourselves from the government coffers. Why are you people not considering the economic situation of the country?
Ndume: Yes, it is true that we were given car loans but do you expect us to use our personal cars to do official duties? The car loans are meant for us to purchase our personal cars and not official car. The cars we are buying now are the officials cars. As members of the National Assembly, we are entitled to official cars.”