Senate Leader. Ali Ndume, was a guest on Channels TV this morning where he spoke on the controversial N4.7 billion reportedly meant for the purchase of new cars for each senator to carry out their oversight function.
Ndume queried why Senators are expected to pack themselves in a coastal bus when carrying out their duties when Ministers and Local Government Chairmen have official cars.
According to Ndume, Senators have not taken delivery of the cars as the budget has not been passed.
“No not yet. Money has been budgeted but the budget has not been passed and you know there is this public debate going on that Senators should not buy cars. Look I am a senator representing 9 Local governments. A Minister was appointed, 36 of them. All of them are driving a convoy of at least 4 cars. By protocol I am the senate leader. For example, I came with a car. I don’t mind for example but what happens to my rights and privileges. For me personally, I don’t care about driving a particular car. I move with any car but what happens to my rights and privilege as a Senate leader. For example the revenue and mobilization commission n their entitlements to my own office, are saying the senate leader should own two cars. We are supposed to do oversight as you know. Should I use my private car to do that?”he said
When asked why senators cannot ride in a coastal bus, he said
“How can I be going in a bus? You want me as a Senator to go in a bus? Senators going in a bus is as a matter of choice. When Senators are going to one place outside Abuja, how do you expect to pack them in a bus? Lets be honest. We are not buying cars for Senators. No. We are buying cars so that they will use those vehicles for committee work”he said
Asked if they will be made in Nigeria vehicles, he said “Well that one is another thing”.