Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), says he will abolish the security vote system if he is elected.
Kwankwaso said this on Sunday while speaking at a town hall series organised for presidential candidates by Channels Television.
Security vote refers to a monthly allocation disbursed to states and other agencies for improved security.
According to estimates on security vote by Transparency International, “these secretive, unaccounted-for, cash expenditures add up to over $670 million (N241.2 billion) annually”.
Speaking on why the security vote system should be reviewed, Kwankwaso said it is a way of getting away with “stealing” state funds.
“For the eight years I was governor, I never took one naira for the issue of security vote. It’s not even there,” he said.
“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.”