Home News Presidential yacht has already been delivered”, Ndume clarifies

Presidential yacht has already been delivered”, Ndume clarifies

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The Chief Whip of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has clarified the issue bordering on the controversial Presidential yacht said to be worth about N5 billion.

Ndume made this clarification while speaking on the review of the supplementary budget on Arise Television’s Morning show on Friday.

The All Progressives Congress Senator representing Borno South said the presidential yacht had been signed and delivered but not paid for before the public outcry, adding that the Senate has since added the required payment fee to the student loan budget.

Ndume said, “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 N435, and now it is over N800.

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.”

Speaking on the N160m for Land Cruiser SUV for each lawmaker in the National Assembly, the Chief Whip stressed that it is not a new thing for government workers to be buying vehicles for official duties.

He maintained that the price of the vehicles was also affected by the volatility of the naira to dollar rate, adding that the vehicles are needed for the lawmakers.

“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 maintained that the reason for the SUVs is because most Nigerian roads are not motorable, adding that these vehicles are the only ones that could help them carry out their oversight functions.

Ndume also denied reports of a rift with the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

Recall that in October, Akpabio and Ndume were involved in a shouting match on the floor of the Senate.

Ndume, during the plenary, had raised a point of order in protest against how Akpabio was handling the affairs of the upper chamber.

The Senate Chief Whip was reported to have cited order 54 of the Senate Standing Orders and raised a point of order, but the Senate President ruled him out of order.

After he was ruled out of order, the Borno lawmaker staged a walkout and returned to his office.

However, while featuring on the Arise TV programme, Morning Show on Friday, Ndume said he is older than Akpabio and can advise him on issues concerning the Senate.

He noted that disagreement could happen between them but would not degenerate into a fight, adding they are colleagues and have the same interests.

Ndume said, “I’m older than Akpabio and can advise him on issues of the Senate. I was the DG campaign of Akpabio, so by virtue of my position, I was his number one supporter and marketer to become the Senate President.

“We can disagree to agree, but not to fight. Myself and Akpabio are colleagues, we have the same interest.”

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