The Senators defended their budget, saying the cars are for carrying out oversight functions.
President Buhari’s comments during his maiden media chat, about the amount of money(N47.5b) to be spent by Senators on cars, did not go down well with the law makers.
Commenting on the decision of the Senate to spend the huge amount on new cars, Buhari said “N47.5bn for vehicles for the National Assembly members? I think I will explore the possibility of that power. If I can turn down N400m for vehicles in the Presidency, I think we don’t need new cars; we can manage the old ones because of the economy.”
Mr. President also added that the Senators had earlier collected N100b as car allowance.
According to Punch Newspapers, some Senators defended their budget, saying the cars are for carrying out oversight functions.
Reports say a top ranking All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator reportedly said “I am sure the President is not expecting that we will use our personal vehicles, bought with loans, to carry out oversight functions within and outside Abuja or does he want us to rely on ministries, departments and agencies, under our supervision, to provide logistics whenever we want to carry out our official duties?
“It is a normal practice that members of the National Assembly go away with their official vehicles after four years, having paid the current value to government coffers. So where are we going to get our own official vehicles?”
“We are looking forward to the meeting proposed by Mr. President and we will let him realise the need for us to have the project vehicles if we are really expected to carry out necessary oversight functions in line with the anti-corruption crusade of the current administration,” the Senator said.
Also, a Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Senator reportedly said the Senate will resist any attempt by the executive arm to stop the purchase of their official cars.
President Buhari held his maiden media chat on Wednesday, December 30, 2015.