By Sesugh Akume
Abuja- Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) has been made aware of APC’s budget for the year 2018 through widely circulating media reports. ANRP is yet to confirm the veracity of these reports as the said budget is not reported on any official APC platforms (website and social media).
If the reports are something to go by however, ANRP has raised questions and concerns about the said budget which is put at N14.8 billion, of which N2.4 billion is to come from the 24 states APC ‘controls’ as part of the financing plan.
APC National Treasurer, Mr. Bala Gwagwarwa is quoted thus, ‘[The] 2017 budget performance was substantially better due to [the] prompt intervention of our state governors . . . APC would generate N2.4 billion at the rate of N100 million from each of the 24 states under APC control.’ Also that, ‘the party hopes to generate N1.05 billion from eminent members of the party in non-APC states.’
ANRP, as the public, is interested in the source of funds. How do APC intend to ‘raise’ N100m from the 24 states that they ‘control’? Is it from these same states where salaries of workers and pensions of retirees are owed for months, in some states for over 12 months?
The mere fact that APC expects governors and states to sponsor their party activities while majority of these states are impoverishing workers and retirees is indicative of the party’s inability to grasp the pain in the land which they have caused. It proves their insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians, and their impunity. It is now clear where APC priority lies: in mere politics and self-serving interests, not in being of service to our people.
ANRP objects to the system whereby monies from government sources are ‘raised’ to finance parties and elections. This is not acceptable, ANRP rejects it. ANRP raises money from crowdfunding and freewill donations, etc. Our books are also open for scrutiny.
Going by APC’s income projections, N2.4 billion with N1.05 billion is N3.45 billion. Where will the outstanding N11.37 billion come from? Would the balance come from 100 naira monthly donations by members as APC stated? ANRP is interested and keenly watching. Also, the Electoral Law clearly stipulates that the maximum amount any individual or body corporate may donate to political parties is N10 million. This law applies to all, APC included. ANRP is interested in knowing these ’eminent’ Nigerians who would be donating billions of naira to finance APC.
APC (as every other political party) will have to show where every dime of their financing comes from. APC must be transparent and accountable about their financing. They must do the right thing, and follow ANRP’s example.
APC are also quoted as intending to spend a stupendous N500 million on vehicles for their National Working Committee (NWC) officers, that is, N25 million each for 20 vehicles. Clearly, APC are living in denial, and blind to the harsh economic realities facing Nigerians, and therefore think it appropriate to rub it in the face of longsuffering Nigerians; displaying affluence and living large spending so much on vehicles for their officers instead of cutting costs. This is the same culture of wastage (not cutting costs and living lavishly) that they have translated into (mis)governing the country, in all arms of government and at all levels.
Under the APC government Nigeria has this 2018 become the country with the highest number of people living in abysmal poverty, and also the highest percentage of the population living in such dire poverty. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also releases reports that demonstrate that millions of jobs are lost every quarter, businesses dying, as well as increasing hardship with more people falling into penury daily. Yet, APC feel no sense of responsibility and have chosen to continue in their ways of lavish spending. Nigerians now know better on how to decide.
ANRP posits that the era of opaque political party and campaign financing is over. ANRP is interested, and will closely monitor this. ANRP will ensure that INEC, the elections management body plays its role in ensuring strict compliance, and consequences for defaulters, whoever they are.
Sesugh Akume is the ANRP National Spokesman