N57.6bn SUVs: ALBNI Condemns Purchase, Tasks Lawmakers On Patriotism

The Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative (ALBNI) has faulted the purchase to the tune of N57.6 billion of brand new Toyota Prado SUVs for 360 Nigerian lawmakers.

ALBNI, a civil rights organization described the purchase at the time the nation is confronted with unprecedented hardship as reckless, insensitive, and unfortunate.

The group, in a statement on Tuesday by its Lead Director, Mr. Remi Adebayo, said plunging such humongous resources to buy vehicles at this moment speaks volumes about how contemptuous the political class holds the people.

“Claiming that the SUVs are not gifts but properties of the National Assembly is not enough, buying them in the first place at this time is repulsive; that they’re sourced outside Nigeria even makes it annoying.

“We cannot imagine that the parliament would toe this regrettable path at a time the Federal Government is seeking loans to fund ineffective palliatives that have so far been muddled in controversies without significant impact.

“With their unabated appetite for foreign goods and total disregard to anything locally produced, the Nigerian lawmakers have again demonstrated completed avarice and total disdain for local contents, as well as disinterest in boosting Nigeria’s economy or creating jobs.

“Nigeria cannot grow its economy when holders of its mandate lack patriotism or interest in embracing products manufactured internally by the citizens.”

In the meantime, the civil society group demanded apologies from the management of the National Assembly while urging the lawmakers to return the vehicles in the interest of fairness and good conscience.

“Doing so will only prove that these federal lawmakers identify with the Nigerians in this moment of pain and hardship when citizens are sharing a cup of rice to feed a whole family.

“We also demand legislation to compel all tiers and organs of government to compulsorily patronize local products except when such products are unavailable locally.”

ALBNI also called on Nigerians to always intensify the search for credible alternatives, and ensure that only persons with altruistic national values are elected into public offices.