By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI —The Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekwerenmadu, has defended the cash provision for the purchase of vehicles for Senate Committees, describing it as “a necessary expenditure.”
Chief Ekweremadu, in Umunumo, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, during the presentation of about 100 tertiary scholarship awards to students, powered by Senator Athan Achonu, also linked the huge cost of procuring vehicles for the lawmakers on the prevailing exchange rate for the United States’ dollar.
“It is an indisputable fact that the exchange rate for the dollar has hit the skies in these days and age and this has adversely affected every other commodity in the country,” Ekweremadu said.
Attributing the high cost of the purchase of vehicles for the Senate committees’ assignment to the increase of the exchange rate, Chief Ekweremadu opined that it was not unusual for Nigerians to blame the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the outcome of what they saw as abnormal.
“It is not a crime to buy vehicles for the use of Senate committees. This would enable members of the various committees to carry out their assignments without hitches,” Ekweremadu said.
He explained that he was in Okigwe senatorial zone of Imo State, to witness what he described as “a life changing educational empowerment programme, where Senator Achonu is giving hope to the indigent but academically sound students, to study through the university and acquire knowledge in order to have an educated society.”
Speaking earlier, Senator Achonu, representing Okigwe senatorial zone of Imo State, pointed out that “whatever crisis facing Nigeria under the government of the APC was traceable to lack of management.”
He stressed that Nigeria remains the most blessed by God in the African continent and should be able to harness its resources for the benefit of Nigerians.
Achonu said that politically, “the APC has planned to make Nigeria a one political party state,” a step he said, was contrary to what the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, government believed in.