The Chairman of the Senate Services Committee, Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West), responded to criticism of the acquisition of Prado Landcruiser Sports Utility Vehicles for 469 federal lawmakers.
Karimi expressed his disappointment with the media frenzy that followed the exposure of the vehicle purchase deal, which has become a quadrennial tradition.
During a press interview on Tuesday in Abuja after the Senate plenary session, Karimi clarified that the Senate took various factors into account, including cost-effectiveness, durability, and the poor state of most Nigerian roads, before finalizing the purchase of the SUVs.
He also pointed out that the public’s focus on lawmakers’ utility vehicles is unfair, as the situation is worse at the executive level, where ministers, who were not elected, travel in convoys with several similar vehicles without drawing any attention from the media or the public.
Karimi remarked, “Some ministers have more than three Land Cruisers, Prados, and other vehicles, and no one is asking them questions. Why us? These vehicles you see, if you take them on Nigerian roads today, I have to spend a lot on my vehicles when I return to my senatorial district because our roads are in bad condition. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
He explained the decision-making process behind choosing the Land Cruiser, stating that they had conducted a thorough analysis, including price comparison and an assessment of durability on Nigerian roads. The goal was to acquire vehicles that could be used for another four years.
Karimi emphasized that the purchase of vehicles for the National Assembly is a recurring issue that arises in every assembly and should not be a cause for concern.