The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on the Senate to return the 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps that were delivered to some Senators last Thursday to the supplier or face the anger of Nigerians.
The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement on Monday that the decision of the Senate to buy the Luxury cars was reprehensible and indeed only showed that the lawmakers were greedy and insensitive to the current economic plight of Nigerians.
Wabba said that the Senate’s action also bordered on crime as the unit cost of each of the 108 exotic cars was inflated by 100 percent from the normal price of N17 million to N35.1 million.
Wabba lamented that the Senate took a decision to acquire the controversial cars after taking a loan for the same purpose in August, 2015.
He said that it was immoral of the Senate to acquire the expensive cars after admitting publicly that its standing committees could not carry out their duties because of lack of funds.
Wabba called on the relevant agencies to investigate the issues involved in the Senate’s acquisition of the 108 vehicles.
He stressed that Nigerians were interested in how the Senate got the money to purchase the vehicles and why the Senate spent money not appropriated for.
He said, “We consider it appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps ( one for each member less the Senate President) after collecting car “loans” in August last year for the same purpose.
“It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds.
“We at the Nigeria Labour Congress equally consider it a willful and grievous criminal act, the inflation of the unit cost of each of the cars by over a 100 percent, as each car supposedly cost N35.1m instead of N17m.
“Their multiple acts of criminality, ranging from acquiring these cars after previously taking loans for the same purpose; spending money without appropriation and over inflating costs constitute not just corruption but a crime against the Nigerian people whom they claim to represent.
“Accordingly, we demand they return those cars to whoever supplied them or the appropriate agencies prosecute them for corruption. In the event none of this happens, they should be prepared to keep a date with Nigerian workers and their civil society allies including market women and students.”
He wondered why the money spent in the acquisition of the cars could not be put to better use as constituency projects in the various constituencies of the Senate.
The Labour leader condemned the Senate for opting to display such a curious level of luxury in the face of the severe economic challenges facing the country.