The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume has defended the purchase of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for members of the National Assembly.
He argued that the development is not a new one.
Recall that the National Assembly had come under heavy backlash over the proposed purchase of SUVs valued at N160m each for 469 lawmakers.
However, Ndume, during an appearance on Channels Television’s current affairs show Sunday Politics, asserted that lawmakers have always had official vehicles
“Buying vehicles for public or civil servants is not a new thing. It is only as you, said, ‘What are the implications? What is the cost and what are the alternatives?” Ndume said.
He concluded that the public has every right to question the purchase of the vehicles considering the economic situation in the country, but insisted that the cars are needed for official work.
He insisted that for him to serve the people effectively he needs the vehicle to carry out his duty.
“But for me, I come to serve and in serving the people, my major constitutional rule is oversight and making laws.
“If I have to do that effectively, then I need a vehicle that would enable me to do that effectively. That is what I think is the idea behind buying the vehicles.
“But it is not new that public servants, especially in the rank of ministers, and heads of parastatals get vehicles,” Ndume added.
Senator Ndume, however, said over the years, the cost of buying such vehicles has continued to rise.