My Governor, The Security Vote Is Not For You, By Adeolu Oyebode
One of the conduit pipes for State governors and some local government chairmen is the popular “Security Vote” which is appropriated at the discretion of the Governor. This monthly allowance runs into billions of naira per annum, with the least State been Ekiti State with N1.2billion and Delta State being the highest paid with N24b per annum (according to Wikipedia).
One then begins to ask, what then should this huge money supposed to address? The security vote of a State governor is supposed to be shared with both national and local security agencies in the State in addressing security challenges that may evolve for the month. These includes among others: Capacity Training Courses for the Police and Paramilitary officers, Logistic Support such as Hilux Van, Ambulances, etc.
The security vote is supposed to also provide office and residential apartment for agencies whose headquarters are not in the State but renders security protection for the State Government. The vote is also meant to run for the Security Trust Fund which handles communal policing and homeland security services.
Unfortunately, a Security vote in Nigeria is the war chest and a lump sum for His Excellency. Despite these huge sum of money unaccounted for, security agencies in the country still suffers and the lack of Manpower support by State Governors to the Federal security agencies is said to be one of the reasons why insecurity is high and the level of commitment to the security service is reduced by these trained officers who put their lives on the line to protect the defenseless civilians.
There were instances where a Governor of the Western Nigeria sent a security agency packing from her Command Headquarters and directed the security agency to pay for rents or outright purchase. The news was widely publicized but rather than the action of this security vote-collecting Governor to be condemned for this act, he was applauded by some characters and the security agency was blackmailed to buy the property, yet this Governor is said to receive a security vote running to billions per annum!
Even though it is unfortunate that there is no regulation as to the appropriation of this Security vote, just four States in the country has explained how the vote is spent, but the onus of proof as to whether it was judiciously spent cannot be ascertained and the call for a probe of this vote after such Governor’s tenure expires is a duty for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
As at 2015, Lagos State Governor is said to receive N17.05billion annually (N15.56billion is appropriated for Public Order and Safety and N1.59billion is earmarked for Social Protection).
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is a one of the few transparent leaders who have distinguished himself from his peers. The 2017 budget details says that a sum of N2.6billion was allocated to support Federal agencies in Kaduna, while N1.958b is appropriated for Internal Security.
This therefore is a call on men of good conscience to determine the legality of the advanced free fraud called Security Votes and the EFCC should also investigate and prosecute abuse of the funds.
Writes on Internal Security