BEVERLY HILLS, April 18, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has voiced its displeasure with the Senate and has threatened a mass action against the Senate over the acquisition of 108 Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs allegedly at N35.1 million each.
NLC in a statement on Monday, signed by Ayuba Wahab, factional President of the congress, said the action was “insensitive and reckless luxury” at the time the country faces economic crunch, with the 2016 budget still not passed.
It then demanding that the cars be returned to the supplier or the Senate be prepared to face the workers and civil societies.
“We consider appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs (one for each member less the Senate president) after collecting car “loans” in August last year for the same purpose. It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds,” the statement read.
“We at the NLC equally consider it a wilful and grievous criminal act, the inflation of the unit cost of each of the cars by over a 100 percent, as each car supposedly cost N35.1 million instead of N17 million. Aside from this, Nigerians are keen to know from where they got money for the purchase of these cars without appropriation.
“Couldn’t this have been put to better uses such as the constituency projects of these same senators? At a time with severe economic challenges and deepening poverty in the land, can the Senate afford this level of reckless luxury and arrogance? The answer is, No.
“Accordingly, we demand they return those cars to whoever supplied them or the appropriate agencies prosecute them for corruption. In the event none of this happens, they should be prepared to keep a date with Nigerian workers and their civil society allies, including market women and students.”
The NLC noted that the multiple acts of criminality, ranging from acquiring these cars after previously taking loans for the same purpose; spending money without appropriation and over inflating costs constitute not just corruption but a crime against the Nigerian people whom they claim to represent.
Story by David Oputah