360 SUVs: Why Nigerian Senate Must Halt Purchase

At a time when the Nigerian masses are facing severe hardship from the impact of the fuel subsidy removal, the country’s senate is justifying a move to purchase 360 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for its members.

Development Diaries reports that the Chairman, Senate Services Committee, Sunday Karimi, said the reason for their choice was the durability and ability of the SUVs to withstand the poor road conditions in the country.

It is regrettable that this is happening even as the Nigerian government is still searching, vetting, and confirming who among the most impoverished Nigerians will begin receiving a ‘whopping’ N25,000 palliative payment.

It is also a shameful development that people who are meant to be representatives of the masses are justifying such a ridiculous move, saying that ministers who ride up to four vehicles are not criticised.

At a time when millions of Nigerians are bearing the brunt of the removal of fuel subsidy, at a time when 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor, at a time when the country’s debt servicing cost has surpassed its revenue, purchasing luxurious SUVs should never be a priority.

At a time when economic disparities are prevalent and many Nigerians are grappling with financial hardship, legislators should lead by example by demonstrating prudence and financial restraint.

According to data released by the World Bank in its Nigeria Development Update (NDU) in June, four million Nigerians fell into poverty in the first half of 2023 alone.

The bank further stated that if appropriately targeted actions were not taken to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal, an additional 7.1 million Nigerians could become poorer.

Legislative members are entrusted with the task of making laws and policies that directly impact the lives of their constituents. It is their moral and ethical duty to prioritise the welfare of the people they serve over personal luxuries.

When legislative members indulge in lavish car purchases, it sends a message that they are disconnected from the everyday struggles of the average citizen, eroding public trust and confidence in their leadership.

Such ostentatious spending not only appears callous but can also lead to accusations of misuse of public funds, further undermining the integrity of the legislative body.

Instead of splurging on expensive cars, they should be allocating public resources towards vital public services, social safety nets, and infrastructure development.

Such expenditures, particularly on extravagant vehicles, can be seen as a misuse of taxpayers’ money, further worsening the sense of inequality and injustice among the masses.

Development Diaries calls on the senate to put a stop to this ridiculous move and focus on addressing pressing issues facing their constituents.

Photo source: The Nigerian Senate

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