The National Assembly recently began moves to purchase vehicles for its lawmakers that may be worth N5.5billion. Daily Trust Saturday sought the opinions of some Nigerians on the matter. David Taiwo, 30, Media Practitioner, Lagos The issue of car purchase by the National Assembly is not only outrageous but also portrays the lawmakers as being […]

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The National Assembly recently began moves to purchase vehicles for its lawmakers that may be worth N5.5billion. Daily Trust Saturday sought the opinions of some Nigerians on the matter.

David Taiwo, 30, Media Practitioner, Lagos

The issue of car purchase by the National Assembly is not only outrageous but also portrays the lawmakers as being insensitive of the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country. They are nothing but a group of people who are all out to wet their appetite at the expense of the masses which they claim to be representing. I think something urgent should be done to checkmate the way they spend public funds before they run the country aground.

Mohammed Abdullahi, 35, Public Relations Professional, Lagos

This action further reaffirms the insensitivity of leaders in Nigeria, be it the legislature or the executive and of course, including the judiciary who more or less sell justice to the highest bidder. How else can one explain the fact that a country debating to pay N30,000 minimum wage coupled with more than 200 years of modern infrastructure deficit has its lawmakers earmarking N5.5billion to buy perishable assets such as cars. There is no better description of leadership irresponsibility and callousness. But, like always, we resort to God for help as citizens wallow in continuous struggle for survival in a nation that is clearly designed to benefit the political class only.

Danjuma Dickson Auta, Politician, Plateau State, Jos

I don’t have any problem with our leaders being made comfortable to enable them work well. N5.5billion will go a long way in paying the minimum wage.
Let them fix the security problems and the bad roads we have all over the country and the masses would not have any problem with them buying even more expensive cars.
Jobs need to be created, and we need constant power supply. If these, and our security challenges are addressed, all Nigerians will demand a better package for political representatives.

John Ugwuanya, 40, Banker, Lagos

The cost of democracy is too expensive in Nigeria. All the insults and migrations we have had in this country is due to poor leadership. Monthly, there are constituency projects budgeted for, but at the end of the day nothing is done. If we eliminate one part of the National Assembly, then that will help in cost reduction and afford the government more revenue to do major projects.

We pay taxes just for a few selfish people to benefit. This is not acceptable.  A senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is busy showcasing different automobiles in his garage and he will be given the opportunity to add more to his fleet at the detriment of the poor masses, this is disgusting.

Our leaders are only there to intimidate us and not to lead us. Just as a senator has rightly said, one day, the masses will fight against them. I think that day is not far from the look of things.

Kashim Ibn Yakubu, 42, Architect, Kano

The National Assembly’s plan to purchase official cars worth N5.5billion in the face of glaring hardship in the country is to say the least insensitive, obnoxious, repugnant and highly offensive. It just goes to prove that the greed of our politicians is the bane of this country. It is time to revert our assembly to its original part-time status.

Felicia Kwawo, Estate Surveyor, Kaduna

A total number of 469 people want to spend N5.6 billion to purchase cars. That is an average of N11.7 million per head of our population. Meanwhile, they are still doing back and forth on minimum wage, and from what the government is proposing the increment will be N5,000 to N10,000 maximum. The average Nigerian worker is living below one dollar per day, but their legislators want to spend N11.7 million to buy cars per head, that is excluding furniture, housing, wardrobe and hazard allowance. ‘Hazard’ inside the air conditioned green and red chamber.

It is increasingly becoming difficult for people to meet up with their bills, like feeding, school fees, and house rent, but the 469 people they gave their mandate to are getting all sorts of allowances, while they live in penury.

Our hospitals are poorly equipped, death rates from terminal diseases is on the rise because the treatment is expensive and they can’t afford it. In a state for instance, only one or two hospitals have dialysis machine which is not enough to meet the number of dialysis cases. A lot of people have died while on queue waiting for dialysis, even when they have money to pay for it.

Oreoluwa Ojo, 25, Media Freelancer, Lagos

I think it is totally unnecessary; the money could be used to secure other important sectors, such as education or security. Why try to spend so much money procuring cars when the masses get hungry and exposed to poverty. Material things like this attract wrong sets of people to the House. We need honest people who will go there because of the solutions they will proffer to the problems of the people. What about those returning to the House for the second or third time? What do they need all the cars for? There should be a limit to all of these things and to the number of times an individual can serve in the National Assembly.

Theresa Aboyi Owoicho, Journalist, Kaduna

Our lawmakers should stop being selfish, there are lots of problems N5.5billion can fix: Security, health care, education, access roads, drinkable water, electricity and more. Let them focus on developing Nigeria and stop deviating from their primary assignment.

Danjuma Sarki, 39, Businessman, Kaduna

I don’t have a problem with that as far as is budgeted for and it would help them perform effectively. As they said, they are operational vehicles, hence the need for them. I wonder why people always raise eyebrows when it is expenditure that has to do with the National Assembly, when in fact the amount of money expended by the executive in purchase of vehicles is in tens of billions. How many cars are in a minister’s fleet? The cost of one aircraft in the presidential fleet is more than N5billion and there are about ten. In the executive arm, choice cars are purchased for numerous presidential aides, ministers, directors, heads of parastatals, agencies, chairmen and board members. Whenever they are appointed, the amount when totalled runs into almost N100billion. In all the states, governor buy new cars for themselves, their aides and commissioners. Why are people not challenging them? It seems we disrespect our parliamentarians for no just cause. The lawmakers are the true representatives of the people and are closer to them. I strongly advocate that they be made comfortable so that they can continue to expose corruption in the executive and check their excesses.

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Source:Daily Trust