President Muhammadu Buhari has turned down a proposal to purchase five new bulletproof Mercedes S-600 (V222) cars for his use at a cost of about N400 million.
Buhari was said to have rejected the proposal by the permanent secretary of the State House, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi when he briefed him ( the president) on Wednesday.
Ordering that the proposal to procure the cars be dropped, Buhari noted that there was no need for the new vehicles when the ones he inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan are still in good shape for him to use.
A top presidency source who disclosed this to State House correspondents last night said the president, however, welcomed other initiatives presented by Emodi to reduce the operating cost of the State House and strengthen its finance and accounts internal control mechanisms.
The source at the briefing, who spoke on condition of anonymity, quoted Buhari as telling the permanent secretary: “I don’t need any new cars. The ones I’m using now are just fine.
“Greater effort be made henceforth to capture all State House expenses within the approved national budget, to avoid the frequent recourse by past administrations to presidential intervention funds.”
It was gathered that the proposal to procure the new cars was first made to Jonathan before he left office.
“The former president directed, however, that it be represented to President Buhari for approval on his assumption of office since the cars could only be delivered some months after the May 29, 2015 handover date,” another source told our correspondent.
Confirming the development, senior special assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president’s decision was in keeping with his commitment to prudence in the management of national resources.
He added that Buhari wanted to continue using the cars he inherited from Jonathan, which explains why he withheld approval for their replacement.