Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, has stated that if elected, he will remove the security vote system.
He also stated that Nigeria has adequate money to care for all of its inhabitants and that the government will not borrow to pay salaries.
A security vote is a monthly allocation given to states and other organizations to improve security.
Kwankwaso made the commitment while speaking at a Channels Television town hall series for presidential contenders on Sunday night. He claimed the system should be reformed since it is a manner of “grabbing” state monies.
He said: “For the eight years I was governor, I never took one naira for the issue of security vote. It’s not even there.
“I have inherited governments that were taking N10 million in a day, seven times. In fact, at a state, we had a record of 12 times because the governor can only approve N10 million. So, they would take N10 million, times whatever number they want.
“If the CP or director of SSS or anybody wants to do anything, we’ll listen to him. He should defend it. And once we are satisfied, anything above N10 million, I’ll take it to the council.
“The only thing that we did not publish for the eight years I was governor was the money given to the security agents, but we have the records.
“Security vote, in our own opinion, is a big way of stealing money. That is why I have never done it. And if I have the opportunity again, there will never be anything like security vote in the presidency.
“We have seen cases where a lot of money is being siphoned in the name of security vote and nobody can defend it. In my opinion, that should be stopped using whatever means, because it’s only a good way of taking cash from the treasury.”
“I’m talking of borrowing money either from banks or individuals, we have never borrowed. So I believe that that can be replicated to a very large extent at national level.
”I will not say I will not borrow but not to borrow to pay salaries, handle current expenditure and so on, I believe there is even more than enough money in this country to handle that.”
Kwankwaso also stated that if elected president, he would negotiate with Nigeria’s creditors to reschedule debt payments so that the government could use the money for other purposes.
“The situation as we are being told now is that whatever we are getting as our resources, as our money in this country is not even enough to service our debt.
”I think that is what we have heard. Now the issue is that any responsible government from day one, will sit down with all the people, creditors and see how they can be rescheduled, there has to be negotiation.
“You cannot be collecting all your resources and paying interest to the creditors, there has to be arrangement to make sure that you are given a breathing space, so you can start bringing in the good things that are necessary for the country to move forward,” Kwankwaso said.
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