A former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described the purchase of cars by the Nigerian senators as absolute nonsense.
He disclosed this yesterday at the 3rd Covenant University International Conference on African Development Issues tagged, “Driving Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Africa: Models, Methods and Policies.”
Obasanjo, who was the Guest Speaker at the ICAD 2016 stressed, “after given the money for cars and houses allowances to the Senators, yet they appropriated special funds for cars.”
The former president expressed worry over the money expended by the senators and ministers on cars, and queried whether this was constitutional.
While fielding questions from the audience on whether there is hope for the country under the administration of President Buhari, Obasanjo said, “PMB served under me and I know him a little bit. He hasn’t deviated from what I knew him for. Actually he is not a perfect man, indeed no leader can be perfect.
“Buhari might not be grounded in both the economy and foreign affairs, he is doing well in fighting Boko Haram and in his anti-corruption crusade. I am very optimistic as far as Nigeria is concerned because we have somebody that will do it well as president,” he said.
According to him, I don’t agree with the fact that this administration is fighting corruption at the expense of other things. Nuhu Ribadu of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was chased out because he was fighting corruption effectively. The question we should ask is that are we fighting corruption effectively and are we getting the desired result?
Recently reacting to public outrage that the senate bought 108 cars, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Services, Senator Ibrahim Gobir denied allegations that the senate purchased the cars without appropriation.
According to him, on the issue of buying cars without appropriation, it is totally wrong because this has been appropriated in the 2015 budget.
“So, we used what we have in the 2015 budget to buy the 36 cars so that it can go round to each state.’’
On speculations that lawmakers earlier accessed loans for the purchase of cars, Gobir explained that no lawmaker accessed any form of loan for the purchase of car.
He defended insinuation of senate’s insensitivity in spending such money on cars in the present economic challenges, saying that buying 36 cars as against 109 was informed by senate’s concern for state of the economy.
“We are supposed to buy 109 cars but because of the paucity of funds, because of our sensitivity and concern for lack of funds, we bought only 36 to go round per state.’’