The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, has condemned the N160m official vehicle being awarded to each of the 360 members of the House of Representatives.
While urging his party lawmakers to reject the gifts, Abure described the action as the height of insensitivity.
He gave the charge in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.
The condemnation is coming in the wake of a report that members of the Senate and House of Representatives have started receiving a gift of a new 2023 SUV each.
In the last two days, the media has been awash with news of NASS leadership plans to procure 109 Toyota Land Cruisers for senators and 2023 Toyota Prado for 360 members of the House of Representatives.
But Abure disclosed that the Labour Party was saddened and disappointed at the level of insensitivity being displayed by the executive and the legislative arms in President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Reacting to the development, Abure said, “We are calling on Labour Party legislators in the 10th Assembly to kick against this unnecessary wastage of resources in line with the ideology of the party which is social justice and equal opportunity for all. Nigerians will hold them responsible if they fail to live above board or give proper account of the electoral investment reposed in them. The poor must be allowed to breathe again in this country.
“It is saddening that with deepening poverty among Nigerians the administration has decided to increase its appetite for a life of opulence to mock hardworking but underprivileged Nigerians. How else can any government justify the bloated Federal Executive Council of 48 cabinet ministers, with each of them given three luxury four-wheel drive vehicles on the first day in office, paid for and fueled by taxpayers? This is notwithstanding hundreds of presidential and ministerial aides, as well as numerous aides to the aides who are being funded by the government.
“These vehicles will be costing Nigerians about N57.6 billion and this is happening at a time when the government claims it cannot afford to increase the minimum wage of N30,000 monthly to workers. As things stand today, inflation is likely to hit 30 per cent by December 2023, yet all they are concerned about is the comfort of a privileged few who found themselves in public office.
“Why spend so much money on the import of and purchase of vehicles from other nations amidst the scarcity of needed foreign exchange for manufacturing? Why not empower local manufacturers such as Innoson Motor in Anambra and Peugeot Automobiles in Kaduna to save forex and boost our local economy? When our Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, said we in the Labour Party want to move the economy from consumption to production, this is what we mean – Nigeria first.”
As of the time of filing this report, efforts made to get LP legislators to confirm that they would comply with the directive were unsuccessful.