Mr Sowore says there is no justification for the payment of money to governors and others as security votes because they are not protecting anybody.
The presidential candidate of the African Action Alliance (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, has promised to end payment of security votes to governors and federal agencies, if elected president.
Mr Sowore also vowed to end sponsoring of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and Isreal, saying he would instead use the money to support students in school.
The AAC candidate stated this on Sunday during the presidential town hall series organised by Arise TV in partnership with PREMIUM TIMES and other media organisations.
He said there is no reason for the federal government to continue to allocate security votes to state governors and some federal agencies.
“What they call security vote in Nigeria, it is one of the things we will like to abolish so that the N271 billion that goes to governors and also federal agencies–over 789 federal agencies also collect security votes, I don’t know who they are protecting with it. We will abolish that.
“Most importantly, we must discuss the waste. I have said it that we must abolish the Senate, so that we can use that money to take care of education. I will stop investing in irrelevant things. With due respect, I don’t want to spend a dime in pilgrimage, I will use that money to train our kids in school and make sure we plug all the areas of leakages,” he said.
Mr Sowore also added that the country does not have a debt to GDP problem, but a revenue to GDP problem. He added that the government must ensure that oil companies pay all obligations to the government.
Adewole Adebayo, the presidential candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), dismissed the concerns over debt. He stated that the concern should be on what has been done with the debt.
“Debt in itself as an absolute figure does not frighten me. The question is, if you borrow $10 million to set up a factory that earns you $2 million dollars a year, I am not as frightened as someone who borrows $10,000 to drink tea. That person who borrowed $10,000 to drink tea, the tea will not bring money back. I will capture every revenue that is not being captured now. I will keep accurate data of our revenue. I will do ‘amortization’ of our debt to ensure that the debt structure is okay,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES is partnering with Arise Television to host the presidential town hall meeting and it is being done in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
Other media partners for Sunday’s town-hall meeting are the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Vanguard newspaper, Daily Trust newspaper and the New Telegraph newspaper.
Leadership newspaper, TheCable, Punch newspapers, Guardian newspaper, The Sun newspaper and the Nigerian Fact-Checkers Coalition are the other partners.
The other candidates who participated in the town hall meeting, apart from Messrs Sowore and Adebayo were Yabagi Sani of the African Democratic Party (ADP) and Peter Umeadi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).