TUC, civil society groups tackle Reps over exotic cars
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and Civil Society Organsations (CSOs) have described the purchase of exotic cars by members of the House of Representatives despite the economic downturn in the country as a misplaced priority.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas in a telephone interview confirmed the delivery of 28 units of Peugeot 508 at the rate of N10 million each.
Namdas said 50 vehicles were expected to be delivered. He, however, added that the vehicles were ordered before the recession.
He also denied knowledge of the N3 million variation requested by the supplier.
Reacting to the delivery of the vehicles, TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama and the Secretary General, Simeso Amachree in a statement described the decision of the House as “a misplaced priority.”
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Jaye Gaskiya, co-convener of Say No Campaign, described the lawmakers as insensitive to the yearnings of the citizens and the prevailing socio-economic crisis in the country.
He said civil society organisations could not stop the procurement except a court ruling established that the procedure did not follow due process as stipulated in the Public Procurement Act to ascertain whether there was a tender for it or not.
According to him: “The question to ask is, when did the country go into recession? It was not at the beginning of this year because the Nigerian economy has started experiencing dramatic decline over the past five years. The growth rate declined from about five per cent to about two per cent in 2014 before it finally slipped to two per cent in 2016.
“So anybody who is patriotic and conscious of the prevailing economic hardship will not be thinking of luxury at this time. So the argument that it was procured before recession does not hold water, but shows that they do not care about other Nigerians.”
The congress urged President Muhammadu Buhari “to take the issue as a challenge if it is really serious in its anti-corruption crusade.”