The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has berated the Federal House of Representatives, the lower chambers in the Nigeria’s bicameralism for its crass insensitivity and open display of odious opulence in its purchase and distribution of imported exotic and very exorbitant cars for its members numbering about 360 (Three Hundred and Sixty people) representatives.
In a release issued by CACOL on behalf of the organization’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by its Coordinator, Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, he noted, “When this issue of purchasing new set of cars for members of the Federal House of Representatives first cropped up on the floor of the house sometime last year, most Nigerians and different groups (including civil society organizations of which CACOL is part and parcel), kicked against the move especially when an indigenous car manufacturing outfit named, INNOSON, volunteered to supply something similar to the foreign made cars with necessary guarantee and at much cheaper and affordable costs. This would have served same purpose of utility and convenience as well as helping to grow our domestic drive at being a desirable automobile, self-dependent and evolving nation. But to the chagrin of ordinary Nigerians, this same set of lawmakers refused to hearken to sense of reason and patriotism by simply suspending the issue at the material time, only to clandestinely approve and release funds all by themselves for same exorbitant and imported cars.
“We noted with much chagrin and disappointment, the carefree attitude of importing vehicles in the range of XLE V6, XSE V6, TOYOTA LAND CRUISER, PRADO SPOSRTS UTILITY Vehicles, and many other expensive cars at an average of over USD50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars) or N42mn (Forty-Two Million Naira) at a time when most Nigerians and the world at large, are battling with an unprecedented pandemic code-named, Coronavirus, which threatens the lives of many by its reach and venom of affection. Such purchase and distribution of imported cars when the country is facing the possibility of national lockdown, just like most countries of the world, including the advanced nations, clearly attest to the carefree attitude of those elected to represent and legislate us in a more beneficial and responsible manner. This is despite the fact that our legislators, just like their executive counterparts, earn more than those of advanced economies with bigger and worthier responsibilities. Though, the attitude has always been that, ‘what could the masses do other than to make noise and keep shut after the harm has been done?’ The fact is that posterity and time would continue to be a leveler and an avenue to bring all acts into reckoning, whether or not we appreciate the import as mere mortals.”
The CACOL Boss added, “One of best ways of discouraging this aberration and shortchanging of the masses by our political class, including the legislative arm, is to subject them to global best practices by ensuring that RMAFC as the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal determinant for all Civil and Public servants, remains the only practical committee that should determine the collective and individual budget/s of members of the Legislature as well as the Executive arms of the nation. A situation whereby the Legislative arm fixes its own budgets and how it is spent is not only unacceptable, it remains daylight robbery and expropriation of taxpayers’ funds. We equally, for the umpteenth time, condemn the practice of lawmakers turning themselves into overnight contractors through bogus and inexplicable ‘Constituency projects’ which has only serves as a veritable avenue to loot trillions of Naira of Nigeria’s scarce resources. Until those statutorily responsible for regulating all these atrocious spending stand up to be counted, politics would continue to be a do or die affair and conduit pipe rather than serve as an avenue to serve the fatherland.”