THE Senate on Sunday, January 3, dismissed the reports by Premium Times, an online medium, accusing it of trying to present the upper legislative body as insensitive for proposing to purchase vehicles for the use of members. The legislative body in a statement said that the project vehicles that it proposed to buy would be used for the execution of committee assignments.
The statement signed by Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, its spokesperson, said that the automobiles were part of the necessities which the institution usually provide to committees to enable them function without depending on external bodies for effective performance of oversight functions.
“For those who may want to find out what happened to the ones bought in the past, we cannot expect that after four years, the vehicles will still be in the condition to effectively serve the present committees. The best practice in government institutions and even private organizations is for official vehicles allocated to top officials after four years of use to be sold at the depreciated value”, Abdullahi stated.
“We have been very frugal, responsive and responsible in our spendings. We have also cut down on several expenses. However, there are certain expenses and purchases that are normal in government and any organisation generally. The legislature is not an exception.
“With respect to the official vehicles of the Senate President, it should be noted that majority of the vehicles in his convoy are his personal vehicles while some of the vehicles that he inherited, including his official vehicles and the back-up car, are so old that they are already developing faults and not fit for long journey. We can recall that on several occasions, his official car broke down. Three instances will suffice here. I remember on a visit to Nasarawa state for a wedding of the daughter of a colleague. Other occasions were at the National Mosque three weeks ago and at the Abuja airport.
“The implication is that the vehicles in his official convoy are so old that they are already causing embarrassment for the Senate. The media should know that a man of his antecedent will not at this point be excited with purchase of new cars. His official cars are really long overdue for replacement.
“The media should avoid deliberately portraying the legislature as irresponsible and inciting the people against it. We seek the understanding of the media to explain issues and situations to the people. Both the media and the legislature have different roles to play in sustaining our democracy and none should be seen to be undermining the other,” Aliyu stated.
— Jan 18, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT