The exorbitant expense of government in Nigeria has been addressed by Alhaji Lasisi A. K. Jimoh, a statesman and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara State.
He criticized the nationwide implementation of security votes, calling it “legalized looting of the public treasury.”
He made these remarks to the in Ilorin, saying, “If, I have my way, I will want to stop the idea of security votes. As a former government employee, I have first-hand knowledge of how the so-called security votes function.
Since you cannot observe billions of naira being spent on security and since you cannot observe anything concrete being done with the security votes, “it is not subject to auditing but a legalized looting of public fund.”
If it can’t be stopped entirely, then it should be regulated, and there should be a rule concerning the creation and control of security ballots.
If an open audit is not possible, a private one is warranted. The so-called security budget expenditures should be transparent to the National or State Assemblies at the very least.
Jimoh also criticized the norm of political leaders traveling in large groups in armored vehicles and asked who was out to get them.
Rather than the political office holders living opulent lives while the public suffer, the APC chairman suggested democratic socialism in the shape of austerity during the current socio-economic crisis the country is experiencing through.
We can cease importing luxury products and boycott the boycottable to boost our foreign exchange,” he said. Bringing in so many armored cars and trucks seems unnecessary.
“Why do we need that in this country?” “Each armoured car or vehicle cost more than N100m, why?” His questions continued.
Regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidies, he praised the decision but criticized the hurried and unprepared implementation.
He drew an analogy between himself and a patient undergoing surgery, arguing that, just as the patient needs anesthesia to prevent discomfort during the procedure, so too the federal government should have administered socio-political anesthesia to its constituents.
Jimoh said that palliatives such as food, automobiles, and cash among others were a last-minute addition that should have been made before the fuel oil subsidy was eliminated.
He pointed out that labor unions were also contributing to the problem by demanding pay increases that would do little to raise workers’ quality of life.
I started my career in the private sector with British Petroleum (BP) in 1967 and 1968, where I served as chairman of the workers union at what was then known as West African Limited but is now known as BP Nigeria Limited. At the time, I was a labor activist.
I find it surprising that trade unionism has not advanced beyond the level at which it was at the time, when our agitation centered on give us more money.
He said, “By now, I expect the unions to be so articulate that they are providing the government with guidelines and helping with ideas on how to achieve good governance, not just asking for more money all the time.”
He emphasized that it is not the amount of money workers bring home each week that is significant, but rather the number of products and services that money can buy.
The APC leader has denounced the military takeover of the government in Niger Republic, but has also urged for alternatives to the use of force to resolve the political deadlock.
He suggested that the Ecinonic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) organization should think about the environmental impact of the proposed military option, despite the fact that he does not like military rule because it is totalitarian and does things with impunity.