The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Felix Morka, has said that criticisms over the plan by lawmakers in the two chambers of the National Assembly to purchase SUVs for themselves are valid.
There have been heated reactions from Nigerians since Chairman of the Senate Committee on Services, Sunday Karimi, explained that the leadership of the National Assembly made the decision to buy SUVs for lawmakers based on considerations of “durability and maintenance” over a four-year period.
His remarks followed reports that the House of Representatives members were set to procure 360 SUVs valued at N57.6 billion.
According to reports, each SUV would cost at least N160 million.
Commenting on the development during a chat on Arise TV, the APC spokesperson said cutting the cost of governance in the executive arm of the federal government should be understood based on the performance of the cabinet.
He stated that the criticisms that followed the decision to buy new vehicles for the National Assembly members were right.
He said, “Cutting the cost of governance is important, but it has to be relative. It is an not absolute proposition. It has to be relative to the output.
“The president has the prerogative to put up his cabinet hoping that they will perform optimally as he wishes. If that’s done, I think we should take these things in context.
“We should measure whether at the end of the day, the expectations of the cabinet exceed the expenditure. I am certain that at the end of the day, the value we will get outweighs some of the costs.
“But I also agree that the issue of SUVs for the members of the National Assembly is controversial. Nigerians are right to criticise some of these things. But let’s also look at the fact that some of the legislators are new in the block.
“I’ve heard people saying they could’ve bought these cars themselves or that they should have used Nigeria-made cars, and all of these ideas are valid.
“But the National Assembly will make its own decisions and follow its own rules and hopefully, they will understand that Nigerians have concerns and these concerns need to be taken into account while making decisions for themselves.”