Buying cars for National Assembly members after collecting their car loans is immoral and fraudulent, a former member of the House of Representatives, Dr Haruna Yerima, has said.
He said the lawmakers must stop the car purchase and also subject their finances to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Earlier, we reported that the National Assembly explained why it would not join the TSA, saying doing so amounted to “surrendering its autonomy” to the executive.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust yesterday, the former Reps member urged the lawmakers to key into the change disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by ensuring transparency in their finances and activities.
“It is morally wrong for the National Assembly to purchase vehicles for the lawmakers after collecting their constitutionally-approved car loans”, Yerima said.
He urged “patriotic and honest lawmakers” in the National Assembly to stop its management and leadership from buying the 460 cars at a time the country is battling financial crunch, adding that lawmakers could as well buy buses for their committees’ work.
“In 2006, when the car purchase issue came up, we stood against it. We succeeded in stopping the House leadership under Speaker Bello Masari from buying the cars”, he said.
The former lawmaker also joined the public debate for the legislature to makes its budget estimates public.
“Nigerians have the right to know how much of their tax payers’ money the lawmakers are spending and on what. They should make public the breakdown of the budget estimates. It shouldn’t be a secret”, he said.
He said channeling its finances to the TSA for transparency is not an executive interference on the legislature.
“It is a government decision aimed at ensuring probity and transparency. I see no reason why the lawmakers would go against that”, he said.
He said the lawmakers should adopt the TSA as an example to MDAs they perform oversight functions.
“If the National Assembly refuses to adopt the TSA policy, then it would surely lose its moral right of oversight of government agencies and parastatals that refuse to comply with TSA directives”, he said.