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.”
In an interview with BANKPAWA in Ilorin, he added, “If, I had my way, I will want to remove the idea of security votes. As a former government employee, I have first-hand knowledge of how the so-called security votes function.
You cannot see billions of naira being spent on security, and you cannot see anything concrete being done with the security votes, thus it is not susceptible to auditing but a legalized plunder of public fund.
If it can’t be stopped altogether, then at least it should be governed by legislation. The same goes for security ballots.
If a public audit is impossible, a private one is the next best option. 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.
Under the current socio-economic pain the country is experiencing through, the APC chieftain advocated for democratic socialism in the form of austerity rather than the political office holders living opulent lives while the public suffer.
He proposed that to increase the country’s foreign currency reserve, people should refrain from importing costly luxury items. I don’t see why we have to bring in so many armored vehicles and cars.
“Why do we need that in this country?” “Each armoured car or vehicle cost more than N100m, why?” He then inquired further.
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 required anesthesia to prevent discomfort during the procedure, so too the federal government should have administered socio-political analgesia 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.
In his opinion, unions should be providing the government with instructions and suggestions for achieving good governance rather than simply demanding more funding at every turn.
Instead of emphasizing employees’ take-home pay, he emphasized the value of the goods and services that wage earners are able to purchase with it.
Concerning the political turmoil in Niger Republic, the APC leader denounced the military take over of government but advocated for alternatives to the use of force.
He claimed that the Ecinonic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) organization should evaluate 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.