The Senate yesterday confirmed that it ordered some vehicles but said they were meant for committees and not individual senators.
An online medium had at the weekend reported that the legislators ordered SUV cars that would gulp N4.7bn.
The plan to buy the cars came months after the senators were given car allowance. A senator told our correspondent that they were given N8m each for the purchase of cars in August.
“We were given three allowances in August this year, all amounting to N18m. The car loan, I think is N4m or N8m. We were also given furniture and housing allowances, ” he said in a phone interview.
But the senate yesterday said the proposed cars were not meant for individual senators but for the execution of committee assignments.
In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the senate said the vehicles were part of the necessities which the institution usually provide committees to enable them function without depending on external bodies for effective performance of oversight functions.
“For those who may want to find out what happened to the ones bought in the past, we cannot expect that after four years, the vehicles will still be in the condition to effectively serve the present committees.
The best practice in government institutions and even private organizations is for official vehicles allocated to top officials after four years of use to be sold at the depreciated value.
“We have been very frugal, responsive and responsible in our spending. We have also cut down on several expenses. However, there are certain expenses and purchases that are normal in government and any organisation generally. The legislature is not an exception.
“With respect to the official vehicles of the senate president, it should be noted that majority of the vehicles in his convoy are his personal vehicles while some of the vehicles that he inherited, including his official vehicles and the back-up car, are so old that they are already developing faults and not fit for long journey. We can recall that on several occasions, his official car broke down. Three instances will suffice here. I remember on a visit to Nasarawa State for a wedding of the daughter of a colleague. Other occasions were at the National Mosque three weeks ago and at the Abuja airport”, he said.