Chairman, House of Representatives committee on army, Abdulrazak Namdas, says the criticisms trailing the N5.5 billion for the purchase of vehicles for Nigerian senators is unfair.
Namdas made the comment while speaking on various national issues in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune newspaper.
He said those raising the issue are over-flogging the matter, while stressing that legislators need cars to function.
His words: “To me, as a returning member, to be sincere, I just feel we are over-flogging the matter. Every year, since 1999, close to how many years now, 20 years, this institution has been buying vehicles for members and civil society organisations have not stopped talking about it. Journalists have not stopped reporting.
“To me, if anybody says National Assembly members don’t need vehicles to do oversight functions, sometimes, I look at it as being selfish or the person does not understand what oversight functions are. “What people should be worried about is the price of the vehicle.
That is my own take, because each forum you go as a legislator, the argument has always been that you are not living up to expectations, that you have not been doing your oversight functions.” He stated that ministries, agencies and parastatals budget annually for buying vehicles, but lawmakers only budget for same in four years.
He added: “There is no member in this Ninth Assembly that does not have a car. But it is wrong for us to take private vehicles for oversight functions. We can’t sacrifice that. But the main fact is that you are expected to buy them for us.
“I think we should outgrow these issues of vehicles for honourable members. We should look at the procurement process of those vehicles. Are they within the figure that is expected so that we don’t do bogus purchases? If you don’t want me to ride a Prado, at least, let me buy a Peugeot.