The Nigerian Senate has offered an explanation for its decision to acquire sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for its members, despite the prevailing economic challenges in the country.
Sunday Karimi, the Chairman of the Committee on Services, provided the rationale during a conversation with reporters in Abuja.
Karimi highlighted that the lawmakers’ intention behind procuring these vehicles was to ensure their longevity over the next four years.
The move has stirred controversy and criticism, particularly in light of the sharp increase in living costs following the federal government’s removal of petrol subsidies on May 29.
Karimi defended the decision by stating that a thorough analysis had been conducted before opting for Land Cruiser SUVs for senators.
He clarified, “I said the decision that we took on using Land Cruiser is — you know they have exchanged the price analysis and other sections, including the cost and durability. Are you getting me?”
He further argued that similar practices existed at the state and local government levels, where governors and local government chairmen typically provided vehicles for elected officials.
Karimi also pointed out the substantial outstanding liabilities inherited by the national assembly, including outstanding payments for vehicles supplied during the 7th, 8th, and 9th assemblies.
The decision to procure the SUVs, he asserted, was rooted in a pragmatic assessment of the vehicles’ suitability, cost-effectiveness, and longevity, despite the economic challenges faced by the nation.