A former Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (North-West), Salihu Lukman, has said the party needs an annual budget of N100bn to function as demanded.
Lukman in a statement titled “National Institute of Progressive Studies: Issues and Challenges” commended Ganduje’s move to establish the National Institute for Progressive Study, and noted that if the issue of party funding is not resolved, party leaders may not be committed to discharging their responsibilities.
He said, “If the organs of the party at all levels are to function as required by the provisions of the party’s constitution, the APC should have an annual budget of not less than N100 billion. Certainly, funding activities of States, Local Governments and Ward organs of the party throughout the country would require not less than N50 billion.
“With an annual budget of not less than N100 billion, how can the party mobilise the required funding? What will be the responsibilities of all the organs of the party in the process of fund mobilisation? How will the funds be shared and what will be the accountability structures that will be put in place?
Lukman had recently declared that Abdullahi Ganduje-led leadership of the party is having a financial challenge.
He said, “Beyond these issues, there are also the problems of funding facing the leadership of Ganduje. At a personal level, I have tried to present recommendations to Ganduje, including a funding proposal for the party. Painfully, I am not able to convince him and the leadership of the party to consider some of the recommendations and proposals. Or, at least, I am not able to get any feedback that my proposal is worthy of consideration.”
However, he explained that the budget of the party must clearly outline the reward and conditions of service for party leadership at all levels.
Lukman said, “If the confidence of party leaders is to be strengthened, reward and conditions of service for party leaders should be benchmarked with public service conditions of service. This would entail, for instance, that the National Chairman should have the same condition of service as the Vice President.”
The statement added, “Deputy National Chairmen should have the same conditions of service as Senate President. National Secretary, the same conditions as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Other members of the National Working Committee should have the same conditions as Ministers.
“This should be cascaded down to states, local governments, and wards and should necessarily require that qualifications for all positions are appropriately benchmarked with corresponding public service qualifications. But first things first; the issue of party funding and capacity to mobilise the funds to implement all these should be resolved beyond assumptions.
“A situation whereby the National Chairman of the party is reduced to a beggar, expecting charity from elected and appointed officials in government is unacceptable. Once that is the case the capacity of the party to influence and regulate the conduct of elected and appointed officials in government will remain weak.”