The Senate has justified the purchase of 360 Sports Utility Vehicles for its members.
The lawmakers were, however, silent on the actual cost of each vehicle but explained that the members preferred the imported SUVs to the locally manufactured ones.
The justification was coming after the Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the lawmakers from taking delivery of SUVs pending the hearing and determination of the applications for injunction filed by the organization.
But the Chairman, Committee on Senate Services, Sunday Karimi, while addressing journalists on Tuesday, explained that it was surprising the lawmakers were over the news while ignoring ministers who got about four official vehicles.
“Somebody that is a minister has more than three land cruisers, Prado and other vehicles and you are not asking them questions, why us?
“These vehicles that you see, go to Nigeria roads today, If I go home once, my senatorial district, I come back spending a lot on my vehicles because our roads are bad. I said the decision that we took on using land cruiser is the cost and durability,” Karimi said.
He added, “Before they came up with this. It is not the decisions of the senators alone, we did an analysis before arriving at land cruisers.
“It was based on a comparative analysis of the cost of technical issues and durability on Nigerian roads.
“We want something that we can maintain for another four years and the issue of buying vehicles from the national assembly, you know it is a reoccurring issue, it occurs every assembly, it will always come up. “
The lawmaker further explained that even at the state level, assembly members had access to official vehicles.
Karimi added, “If you got to State Houses of Assembly today, check out, most of them before they were even inaugurated, the governor would have bought vehicles waiting for them even local government chairmen.
“I drove the vehicle my local government chairman uses, so why the National Assembly?”