Labour Party (LP) federal lawmakers should reject the N160 million SUVs being bought for National Assembly (NASS) members from the N110 billion allocated to the NASS as fuel subsidy removal palliative, LP National Chairman Julius Abure stated
Abure condemned the official vehicle being given to each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives in the face of hunger and hardship of the majority of Nigerians across the land, coupled with a massive national debt and demands for reduction in the cost of governance.
The money comes from the N70 billion allocated by the FG to NASS from the N500 billion budget for subsidy removal palliative and from which 15 million households are to receive N25,000 each per month for three months.
Each of the 15 million households will get a total N75,000 for three months, completely leaving out another 118 million out of the 133 million multidimentionally poor Nigerians former President Buhari fostered.
If shared equally the 109 Senators and 360 House members (total, 469 lawmakers) will get N149 million each from the N70 billion.
There is also another N40 billion Tinubu made available to the NASS for supposed renovations – the total N110 billion, generally seen as bribe for the lawmakers to do his bidding.
Abure counselled LP federal legislators to reject the gifts, describing the initiative as the height of insensitivity in a statement issued in Abuja.
“We are calling on Labour Party legislators in the 10th National Assembly to kick against this unnecessary wastage of resources in line with the ideology of the party which is social justice and equal opportunity for all,” Abure said.
“Nigerians will hold them responsible if they fail to live above board or give proper account of the electoral investment reposed in them. The poor must be allowed to breathe again in this country.
“It is saddening that with deepening poverty among Nigerians the administration has decided to increase its appetite for a life of opulence to mock hardworking but underprivileged Nigerians.”
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“How else can any government justify the bloated Federal Executive Council of 48 cabinet ministers, with each of them given three luxury four-wheel drive vehicles on the first day in office, paid for and fueled by taxpayers?
“This is notwithstanding hundreds of presidential and ministerial aides, as well as numerous aides to the aides who are being funded by the government,” Abure added.
“These vehicles will be costing Nigerians about N57.6 billion and this is happening at a time when the government claims it cannot afford to increase the minimum wage of N30,000 monthly to workers.
“As things stand today, inflation is likely to hit 30 per cent by December 2023, yet all they are concerned about is the comfort of a privileged few who found themselves in public office.
“Why spend so much money on the import of and purchase of vehicles from other nations amidst the scarcity of needed foreign exchange for manufacturing? Why not empower local manufacturers such as Innoson Motor in Anambra and Peugeot Automobiles in Kaduna to save forex and boost our local economy?
“When our presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, said we in the Labour Party want to move the economy from consumption to production, this is what we mean – Nigeria first.”