Peter Obi says the N60 billion allocation for the purchase of SUVs for lawmakers is troubling
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has described the N60 billion SUV allocation for federal lawmakers as troubling, noting that the funds should have been redirected to the health care system.
Obi, who made this statement on Thursday on his X handle, said the allocation is part of the mismanagement of funds that now characterized the national trend.
Furthermore, the former Anambra governor said the lawmakers should have opted for a Nigerian-made vehicle such as Innoson or Nord, thus promoting domestic production in the country.
“The recent expenditure of N60 billion for the purchase of SUV vehicles for about 400 legislators is a continuation of the troubling trend in our nation today.
We have continued to abandon the critical areas of development measurement while expending scarce resources on needless luxury and creating comforts for those elected to serve the people.
Our primary healthcare, which is the foundation of health, a critical development index measure, has collapsed, leading to our surpassing India, a country 7 times our population, in infant mortality, a very saddening situation.
“To allocate such a huge amount, which is more than what we allocated to our primary health care, is nothing but troubling.
One-third of that amount, with proper negotiation, would have given them locally manufactured SUV vehicles from Innoson Motors, PAN, or any local auto assembly plant, to help boost our economy and create and retain jobs,” he said.
Noting that during his tenure as Anambra governor, he purchased only less expensive vehicles for members of his cabinet, Obi stated that such a trend should be replicated at the federal level to reduce cost.
“Upon my being sworn in as the then Governor of Anambra State, I observed that our State High Court Judges, State Government Permanent Secretaries, and newly appointed State Commissioners had no vehicles.
“Anambra State Government had then ordered two bulletproof SUV vehicles for my use. I cancelled the order and used the same money to negotiate concessionary pricing with Peugeot Automobiles to supply us Sixty 406 vehicles, which was enough for all the cabinet members including myself and my deputy governor.
We used the vehicles for our first tenure and were able to commence the work of doing more in the areas of health, education, and lifting people out of poverty.
“Nobody would contemplate this kind of expenditure under my administration,” Obi added.
What You Should Know
In October, the National Assembly leadership declared the purchase of exotic Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) worth N160 million each for a lawmaker and bulletproof vehicles for principal officers.
The SUVs for each of the 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives are estimated at N57.6 billion.
As a result, the National Assembly’s allocation of N160 million for the purchase of SUVs for 469 lawmakers has been met with strong public disapproval, given the economic crisis in the country.
The recent expenditure of N60 billion for the purchase of SUV vehicles for about 400 legislators is a continuation of the troubling trend in our nation today. We have continued to abandon the critical areas of development measurement while expending scarce resources on needless
— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) November 9, 2023
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