Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra state, has said described security votes as Nigeria’s “biggest source of waste”, stating that it is unconstitutional.
Speaking at the Platform, a programme organised by Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Obi said: “Let me tell Nigerians; there is nothing in our constitution called security votes. Anybody who tell you that is lying. It is a terminology that was formulated over the years from one thing or the other. What we have is contingency fund.
“I can say today that it is being abused, it has become our biggest source of waste. Security vote is not supposed to be more than two, three maximum four percent of security votes. Today it is 20, 30 percent of expenditure. “Just to show you how bad it is, somebody told me that my security votes can be as much as N12 billion, so N1 billion per month. So I said fine, how much have we given to primary schools per year?
“They said we have 1,040 primary schools, I said, ‘fine, if we give the primary schools five five million, it will amount to N5 billion per year’. We have 257 secondary schools, and I said we would give each N10 million per year, and these are things you can check. “So they removed it from the remaining seven, and I said we have four critical hospitals built by the churches. We didn’t have any school of nursing, school of midwifery when I started, and these hospitals were functional.
“Though they were not owned by government, I included one built by a bishop, and said we will share N1 billion with this five hospitals. By the time I finished, everything was reduced to about N2.5 billion. I said this is the maximum that we would allocate to security votes. “Apart from Lagos, I provided the highest number of vehicles to police, bought vehicles from every community in Anambra. I had excess. “From the excess, I gave N1 million to every Anabrarian (indigene of Anambra) that had a first class, which I did for about 500 of them, they are all over the place now. “For me, there is need to review it, in fact, what I say to people is that when you finish being a governor, in Anambra state for example, where I finished, I should be invited to account for security votes. “So that people will know that when you finish, you account for it.”