OrderPaperToday – The Senate has said it is not about to spend the sum of N50bn or N4.5bn or any amount close to that for the purchase of cars for members of the National Assembly.
The Senate reaction is coming on the heels of claims by President Muhammadu Buhari during his media chat that the National Assembly proposed to buy vehicles at the cost of N50 billion.
The President’s statement which tended to confirm earlier media report that the senate was planning to buy vehicles at the cost of billions of naira has put the National Assembly under embarrassing public pressure.
But in a statement by its spokesman, Sen. Aliyu Sabi, the Senate said the President got it all wrong.
The Senate said although it is yet to purchase the cars but the purchase is necessary to facilitate the work of Senators.
According to the statement, the legislative body has no intention to spend anything close to the various figures of N4.5 billion, N6 billion or N50 billion that have been bandied around.
The statement read in parr: “Since the claim in an online medium that we are planning to purchase vehicles, we have not taken any further action on the issue. We are surprised that a proposed purchase became a subject of controversy and several figures that are far from our projections have been bandied around.
“While an online medium put the figure at N4.5 billion, another one said N6 billion and now the President on national television was talking about N50 billion. These are outrageous figures. Once the debate on the 2016 budget begins, Nigerians will have the opportunity of knowing how much we voted for purchase of cars and how we intend spending the vote.
“This is a responsible and responsive National Assembly. We really need project for vehicles to facilitate our work We will however follow due process when we choose to take decisions on the purchase.
“We will also take into consideration the views, feelings and mood of the nation in taking the decisions. We will not be profligate or extravagant when what is apparently needed in our country is moderate and frugal spending.
“We however call on all Nigerians to be patient with us, and not jump the gun or rush into conclusions, particularly when no decision has been taken. The way the issue is being presented is as if we have ordered the car or have paid for it.”