President Muhammadu Buhari has turned down an offer by the Federal Government to buy 5 new armoured Mercedes Benz S-600 (V222) cars for his use. The cars which cost is about N400m were planned to be purchased by the State House.
A source close to the presidency told journalists on Thursday that Buhari found out about the plan when the Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi, briefed him of his ministry’s activities on Wednesday.
Angry at the revelation, the President was said to have told Emodi that the purchase was unnecessary. Describing it as a waste of scarce resources, the source said Buhari told the permanent secretary that the cars he inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan were good enough for him.
“I don’t need any new cars. The ones I am using now are just fine,” the source quoted the President as saying.
Top government officials, however, said Buhari welcomed other initiatives presented by the permanent secretary to reduce the operating costs of the State House and strengthen its Finance and Accounts Internal Control Mechanisms.
However he directed that more efforts be made towards the capture of all State House expenses within the approved national budget, in order to avoid the frequent recourse by past administrations to “Presidential intervention funds.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, confirmed that Buhari had withheld approval for the purchase of the new cars. Shehu said the President would continue to use the cars left behind by Jonathan in keeping with his commitment to prudent management of national resources.