By Sadiq Umar, Abuja – The Senate has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that it planned to purchase vehicles worth N50billion, dismissing the figure as mentioned by the president as “outrageous.”
Buhari had on Wednesday during his maiden media chat, alluded to the planned purchase of cars by the senate at the cost of N50 billion.
But the senate, in a statement Thursday faulted the figure blaming the controversy that has trailed the matter on aggrieved dealer who lost the bid to supply the vehicles.
According to the statement issued by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the senate said while it planned to purchase cars, it does not intend to spend anything close to the various figures of N4.5bn, N6bn or N50bn “being bandied around.”
The statement said that shortly after getting the management team and the Senate services committee to commence the due process for the purchase, certain contractors who bid for the supply of the vehicles but felt their bid would not scale through began sponsoring media propaganda against the project and even leaked the recommendations of the body working on the proposed project.
“Since the claim in an online medium that we are planning to purchase vehicles, we have not taken any further action on the issue. We are surprised that a proposed purchase became a subject of controversy and several figures that are far from our projections have been bandied around,” it stated.
Adding: “While an online medium put the figure at N4.5 billion, another one said N6 billion and now the President on national television was talking about N50 billion. These are outrageous figures. Once the debate on the 2016 budget begins, Nigerians will have the opportunity of knowing how much we voted for purchase of cars and how we intend spending the vote.
“This is a responsible and responsive National Assembly. We really need project for vehicles to facilitate our work. We will however follow due process when we choose to take decisions on the purchase.
“We will also take into consideration the views, feelings and mood of the nation in taking the decisions. We will not be profligate or extravagant when what is apparently needed in our country is moderate and frugal spending,” it added.