Members of the National Assembly have been accused by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) of being insensitive to the plight of Nigerian masses who elected them for representation, after information emerged of the lawmakers plan to purchase 469 exotic cars for themselves with state funds.
TUC described the 469 cars the federal lawmakers plan to buy as a misplaced priority, stating: ”We are pained by the fact that it appears the lawmakers do not really know the task before them and the country.”
This was contained in a statement signed by TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the General Secretary, Comrade (Barr.) Musa. Lawal.
“To begin with, for over two months now running the country has been experiencing chronic fuel scarcity such that has never been heard of before. The free-fall of the naira, poor health facilities, glorified primary schools as universities, closure of manufacturing companies, insecurity of lives and properties, which essentially is caused by unemployment, etc. Our case has become so deplorable that we have now become a laughing stock among the comity of nations.”
“Where is even the conscience of the so-called lawmakers? Where are the good roads to drive cars? Why is it that the privileged in this country do not even consider the less-privileged? Lawmakers ride in public transportation in most developed countries to attend to state matters, despite the affluence of their country. The reason our leaders do ridiculous things beats our imagination.”
Accoding to TUC, It will be recalled that the National Assembly members had, in August, collected between N7million and N8million as car loans. But they said the 469 cars that they plan to buy would be used for oversight functions by members of the National Assembly. N47.5billion for only cars is senseless and peak of insensitivity and we support President Buhari to stand his ground on the issue. We are definitely not against the President holding a closed-door meeting with the lawmakers but all we are saying is no to such frivolous expenses.
”Some have argued that the National Assembly go away with their official vehicles after four years, having paid the current value to government coffers. But we wanted something different hence Nigerians voted for change. It just does not make any sense contemplating buying cars with almost 40 per cent of government annual budget. We just do hope the lawmakers mean well for the country,” the statement said.
In a separate statement the NLC said: “The planned purchase of 496 exotic cars costing several billions of naira, after getting car allowances, is not only outrageous but a mark of the manifest insensitivity of our legislators in the period of severe famine in the land.
Signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, the statement said it is shocking that lawmakers at the national level – Senators and Members of the House of Representatives would continue with the bizarrely ostentatious standards they have set for themselves, for spending Nigerians collective patrimony.
“How can we, poor working people, millions of the unemployed and the poor masses, be expected to tighten our belts, while those supposedly elected by us to manage and provide succour for our collective wellbeing intend to live like emperors at a time that our economy is facing serious challenges?
“We call on the leadership of the National Assembly to remove this item from the budget for the National Assembly, and in the spirit of accountability and transparency, begin to make public the budget of the legislature. Failure to do this, Nigeria Labour Congress will in the New Year mobilise mass action against the National Assembly on these issues.