Labour Party presidential candidate in 2023, Peter Obi, has described the recent expenditure of N60 billion for the purchase of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) for about 400 legislators as a continuation of the troubling trend in Nigeria.
Obi, who urged a departure from this path of wasting public resources, said allocating such a huge amount for SUVs, more than what was allocated for primary health care, is nothing but troubling.
The former presidential candidate added that One third of that amount, with proper negotiation, would have afforded locally manufactured SUV vehicles from Innoson Motors, PAN or any local auto assembly plant, which would have boosted the economy, created and retained jobs.
Obi, who stated these on his X platform, further declared that nobody would contemplate this kind of expenditure under his administration.
He said “The recent expenditure of N60 billion for the purchase of SUV vehicles for about 400 legislators is a continuation of the troubling trend in our nation today. We have continued to abandon the critical areas of development measurement while expending scarce resources on needless luxury and creating comforts for those elected to serve the people.
“Our primary healthcare, which is the foundation of health, a critical development index measure, has collapsed, leading to our surpassing India, a country 7 times our population, in infant mortality, a very saddening situation. To allocate such a huge amount, which is more than what we allocated to our primary health care, is nothing but troubling.”
The former Anambra State governor recalled that when he was sworn into office, he observed that the State’s High Court Judges, Government Permanent Secretaries and newly appointed State Commissioners had no vehicles.
He noted that the Anambra State Government had then ordered for two bullet proof SUV vehicles for his use.
“I cancelled the order and used the same money to negotiate a concessionary pricing with Peugeot Automobiles to supply us with Sixty 406 vehicles which were enough for all the cabinet members including myself and my deputy governor.
“We used the vehicles for our first tenure and were able to commence the work of doing more in the areas of health, education and lifting people out of poverty. Nobody would contemplate this kind of expenditure under my administration. I urge all involved to depart from this path of wastage of public resources. A more prudent and transparent Nigeria is possible. -PO”