The Senate on Tuesday, justified its decision to buy 36 Sport Utility Vehicles for its members just as it clarified that the money was sourced from
its 2015 budget. Chairman, Committee on Senate Services, Senator Abdullahi Gobir, who made the clarification in an interview with journalists, also described as untrue, insinuations that senators collected car loans, shortly after inauguration of the 8th Senate.
He said each of the senators from the 36 states, who are either chairman or vice-chairman of committees, got a vehicle, with the understanding of their two other colleagues. He also put the value of each of the Land Cruiser VXR V8 vehicles at N36.6m including the cost of purchase, and other taxes.
He said, “A lot has been happening within the last two days concerning the issue of cars vis a vis car loan, and cost of the car and we feel it is necessary to come out and inform the public about what it is so that people can have a better understanding of the whole thing to avoid wrong perception as being created among Nigerians.
“First, I would like to say that the issue that we bought 108 cars is totally wrong, It is not correct. We bought 36 cars. These 36 cars because each senator in each state is either a Chairman or a Vice Chairman and we gave one car to each state. “We don’t have money to buy 108 cars. On the issue of buying cars without appropriation. This is totally wrong because this has been appropriated for in the 2015 budget.
“So we used what we have in the 2015 budget to buy the 36 cars so that it can go round to each state. “On the issue of the cost of the car, the showroom price, the cost of the car is N36.5m and we are surprised. The car we bought is Land Cruiser VXR V8 not V6, therefore the showroom price is about N31m minimum and when you put 10 Per cent tax it becomes 36.5m. In fact you can go to the internet and download it.
It is very simple, we can give you the website, we have several items we downloaded from the internet, you can see them.This particular car costs about $90,000. “By the time you multiply that you will have about N28.8m so when you add tax, you will end up with about N37m. So I think what we have purchased the car for is very reasonable and.sensite to economic challenge.
“We are supposed to buy 109 cars but because of the paucity of funds, because of our sensitivity and concern for lack of funds we bought only 36 to go round per state. “There is no minister that hasn’t got about three or four cars, One land cruiser, maybe a backup and two Hilux cars. There is no director in the civil service that hasn’t got a car, there is no perm sec that hasn’t got a land cruiser.