Last week, it was reported on Daily Trust that the Senate purchased 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps of which 36 were delivered on Tuesday. The report also said that the cars were bought at a whopping sum of N35.1 million each which, according to the report is two times the original price put at N17 million.
Reacting to the report, President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC Ayuba Wabba called on the Senate to return the supplied cars to the dealer(s) or face the anger of Nigerians.
We consider it appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps ( one for each member less the Senate President) after collecting car “loans” in August last year for the same purpose.
It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds.
We at the Nigeria Labour Congress equally consider it a willful and grievous criminal act, the inflation of the unit cost of each of the cars by over a 100 percent, as each car supposedly cost N35.1m instead of N17m.
Their multiple acts of criminality, ranging from acquiring these cars after previously taking loans for the same purpose; spending money without appropriation and over inflating costs constitute not just corruption but a crime against the Nigerian people whom they claim to represent.
Accordingly, we demand they return those cars to whoever supplied them or the appropriate agencies prosecute them for corruption. In the event none of this happens, they should be prepared to keep a date with Nigerian workers and their civil society allies including market women and students.
The labour leader described the comment by Senate spokesman Aliyu Abdulahi, that Senators could use jeeps since the Special Advisers were using them as childish and laughable.