Ignoring the harsh economic reality Nigeria and Nigerians are grappling with, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Services, Sunday Karimi, has blamed inadequate road infrastructure as justification for purchasing the controversial 2023 model of the Toyota Landcruiser and Toyota Prado for 469 members of the National Assembly.
He stated this at a press conference with members of the Senate Press Corps on Tuesday in Abuja, saying there was nothing wrong in purchasing vehicles given that Nigerian roads are bad.
He spoke at the backdrop procurement of a Toyota Landcruiser for 109 Senators and members of the House of Representatives at a contract price of about N160 million each, in addition to the bulletproof vehicles being purchased for Senate President Godswill Akpabio and his deputy, Barau Jibrin. which has triggered public criticism since the information filtered into the public domain.
He wondered how Lawmakers have become the subject of criticism when ministers they confirmed purchase highly expensive and latest vehicles for their fleet, while he insisted that Nigerians should excuse them.
Karimi, who represents Kogi West Senatorial, said, “A minister has more than three land cruisers, Prado and other vehicles and you are not asking them questions, why us?
“The issue of buying vehicles for National Assembly members, you know it is a reoccurring issue. It occurs every assembly; it will always come up.
If you got to state houses of assembly today, check out most of them before they were even inaugurated; the governor would have bought vehicles for them, even local government chairmen. I drove the vehicle my local government chairman uses. So, why the National Assembly?
“These vehicles that you see go to Nigerian roads today; if I go home once, my senatorial district, I come back spending a lot on my vehicles because our roads are bad.”
Recall that the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the National Assembly from procuring and taking delivery of exotic and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials pending the hearing and determination of the applications for injunction filed by the organization.