The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has condemned the purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for members of the National Assembly.
Vox9ja reports that members of the National Assembly have come under heavy backlash over the purchase of SUVs valued at N160m for 469 lawmakers despite the economic situation in the country.
In a statement released via his X handle on Thursday, Obi said the recent expenditure of N60 billion for the purchase of SUV vehicles for federal lawmakers is part of a troubling trend in the nation.
The LP flagbearer said the federal government has continued to abandon the critical areas of development measurement while spending resources on needless luxury and creating comforts for those elected to serve the people.
The former Governor of Anambra State said allocating such a huge amount, which is more than what was allocated to Primary Health Care, is nothing but troubling.
Obi said with proper negotiation, part of the funds would have given them locally manufactured SUV vehicles from Innoson Motors or any local auto assembly plant to help boost the economy and create and retain jobs.
He wrote: “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.
“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 for two bullet proof SUV vehicles for my use.
“I cancelled the order and used the same money to negotiate a 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.
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“Nobody would contemplate this kind of expenditure under my administration. I urge all involved to depart from this path of wastage of public resources. A more prudent and transparent Nigeria is possible.”
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