The Nigerian senate has described the public outcry over the 9th senate’s plan to buy N5.5bn SUVs for members of the red chamber as an insult.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the Senate Majority leader Yahaya Abdullahi said the 109 senators will pay back for the cars at the end of their 4-year legislative tenure. Insisting that they do more work than Ministers, Abdullahi added that their status as senators is not undeserving of an SUV.
The Senate Leader said, “What is the problem there? It is an insult to say that a senator of the Federal Republic cannot ride a jeep in Nigeria. It is an insult. The N5.5bn is from the National Assembly fund and it is budgeted for every year, which they will pay back at the end of the tenure.
“I was a permanent secretary. I know what ministers get; we cannot even compare ourselves to ministers because we are higher than the minister(s). For you to say that a senator of the Federal Republic cannot drive a jeep today — come on, that is an insult.
“Go and tell the people that the work that we do is more than the work of ministers. The weight that is on me today; there is no minister of the Federal Republic that has it.”
He further revealed that the senate will work towards the independence of the local government structure to boost national development and stability of the grass-roots economy, as they now carry the load of local governments following its collapse.