Ndume also stated why the purchase of N160m SUV for lawmakers in the National Assembly is necessary.
The Chip Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume has said that the deal for the presidential yacht purchase had already been agreed, signed and sealed before the public outburst.
Ndume, a senator representing Borno South, said this while clarifying the issues surrounding the controversial yacht on Arise TV on Thursday.
Recall that there was an outcry from the public when details of the N2.1 trillion supplementary budget submitted to the national assembly were published. The budget included a purchase of a presidential yacht worth N5 billion.
“We queried the amount budgeted for the yacht, but it was signed for a dollar rate, and the new rate isn’t favourable. The budget was predicated for about ₦435, and now it is over ₦800.
“The Navy also clarified that it is not a new budget. And even the House of Representatives moved the budget to the Student loan. The deal for the yacht has been agreed, signed, and delivered but not paid for.”
Ndube also justified the purchase of N160m land cruiser SUV each for lawmakers in the National Assembly, saying it is normal for government officials to buy vehicles to enable them perform their functions.
He also explained why the lawmakers didn’t go for Nigerian made vehicles, saying Nigerian vehicle companies only assemble vehicle parts.
“The reason why we did not choose Nigerian-made cars is because they don’t manufacture their vehicles, but they assemble them.
“I prefer Nigerian-made products, but the Nigerian car companies are only buying the vehicle parts and assembling them here,” he said.
He further added that SUVs were chosen because of most Nigerian roads were not motorable.