The presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwasohas promised to stop the allocation of security votes if elected president in the 2023 general election.
He also admitted that Nigeria has more than enough money to take care of each of its citizens, adding that he will not borrow to pay salaries or take care of recurring expenses.
Kwankwaso stated this on Sunday evening while speaking at a series of town hall meetings organized by Channels Television in association with UK Aid, Hope Action Progress for Women and Youth in Politics, Situation Room, Yiaga Africa and the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL). ).
Kwankwaso attended the meeting in Abuja with his running mate in the presidential election, Bishop Isaac Idahosa.
The presidential candidate answered questions about security, the economy, education, and other important issues.
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Kwankwaso’s position: Kwankwaso revealed that during his tenure as governor of Kano state, he never collected a single naira as security votes, contrary to the practice he inherited. He said:
- “In the eight years I have been governor, I have not got one naira on the issue of security votes and I inherited governments that took N10m a day seven times, ten times. In fact, at one stage, we had a record of 12 times because the governor can only approve N10m so they can get N10m times any number they want.
- “The only thing we did not make public during my eight years as governor was the money given to the security agents but we have a record. So, security votes, in my own opinion, are a great way to steal money because that’s why I never did it; if I had my chance again, there would be nothing like presidential security votes.
- “So, we have seen cases where a lot of money has been siphoned off in the name of security votes and no one can defend it and, I think it should be stopped in any way because it is just a good way of taking money from the treasury. ”
Nigeria has money: Speaking about indiscriminate borrowing which he claimed has negatively affected the Nigerian economy, Kwankwaso said:
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- “There is a lot of money in the country, anyone who says there is no money is either ignorant or wanting to deceive. There is enough money to take care of each one of us in this country; we did it in Kano from 1999 to 2003, we encountered many debts, but we paid off the debts after eight years. When I came back I encountered debts of hundreds of millions of US dollars, and we settled them before I left in 2015.
- “I am talking about borrowing money from banks or individuals. We have never borrowed. So I believe that can be replicated, to a large extent, at the national level. I will not say that I will not borrow, but only if it is for essential things. Not borrow to pay salaries, manage current expenses etc. I believe there is more than enough money in this country to manage that.”
Kwankwaso also said that if he is elected president he will negotiate with Nigeria’s creditors to reschedule the payment of debts so that the government will have money to take care of other things.
- “The situation, as we are told today, is that whatever we get as our resources, because our money in this country is not even enough to service our debt, I think that is what we are hearing. Now the issue is that any responsible government day will sit with all the people, and creditors and see how they can be rescheduled, there must be a negotiation.
- “You cannot collect all your resources and pay interest to creditors, there must be an arrangement to ensure that you are given a breathing space so that you can start bringing good things that are necessary for the country to continue. .”