Akin Akanke, Abuja
Nigerian taxpayers, under the aegis of Tax Payers Association of Nigeria (TAPAN), have condemned the alleged purchase of two armoured vehicles for the Minister of Aviation by the Nigeria Civil Authority (NCAA) at the cost of N225 million, describing the scam as mind-boggling and a national embarrassment.
It called on the Federal Government to get to the root of the issue and sanction every culprit appropriately to serve as a deterrent to all those who think that appointment to a public office was a call to reckless and senseless squandering of tax payers’ money
The body, at a press conference held in Abuja, also cautioned politicians against making comments capable of derailing the proposed National Dialogue, insisting that it is not meant for politicians alone but for the generality of Nigerians.
The National President of TAPAN, Barrister Philip Thomas Ilukholo, said: “It is unfortunate that some politicians are orchestrating a campaign against the national dialogue.
“We find it strange that even those who once mounted vociferous agitations for a national conference are now singing discordant tunes. We are aware that some political parties are planning to influence the boycott of conference buy some states for selfish reasons.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the National Dialogue as conceived by Mr. President, is neither a political party nor politicians’ affairs alone,” he stressed.
On the purchase of bulletproof cars, Ilukholo said: “That such a huge sum of money could be used to purchase two vehicles is a pointer to grand connivance between some public officers and unscrupulous contractors to loot the nation’s treasury.”
The body also called on government to scrap the regime of multiple taxation, which has made doing business in the country difficult.
It equally called on the Federal Government and the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end the ongoing strike in the interest of the nation’s education.