APC chieftain advocates N100bn annual budget for APC to function optimally 

Immediate-past National Vice Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North-west, Mallam Salihu Moh Lukman, has proposed annual budget of N100 billion for the party for it to function as required.

Lukman, however, commended the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje over the proposal to establish National Institute for Progressive Study.

In a statement released Monday in Abuja and dedicated to late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, titled “National Institute of Progressive Studies: Issues and Challenges”, the former Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) also lauded Ganduje to visiting President Bola Tinubu in Lagos with all the members of the National Working Committee (NWC), which he said did not happen in the recent time.

According to Lukman, Once the issue of party funding is not resolved, the current reality whereby party leaders are not committed to discharging their responsibilities will continue. 

The APC chieftain also said the proposed National Institute of Progressive Studies to be setup by APC should be part of a wider strategic reform initiative by the party to ensure that structures of the party at all levels are functional and elected party leaders at all levels are oriented to deliver on their respective mandates as enshrined in the APC constitution.

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 budgets of not less than N100 billion. Certainly, funding activities of States, Local Governments and Wards 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?

“Part of what the budget of the party must clearly outline is unambiguous reward and conditions of service for party leadership at all levels. 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, the National Chairman should have the same condition service with the Vice President. 

“Deputy National Chairmen should have the same conditions of service with Senate President. National Secretary, the same conditions with Secretary to Government of the Federation. And other members of National Working Committee should have the same conditions with 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 fund 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 capacity of the party to influence and regulate the conduct of elected and appointed officials in government will remain weak.”

On the recent NWC visit to the President, Lukman said: “This is a welcome development, which should be commended. Noting that the idea of establishing a Progressive Institute is as old as the APC, now that the National Chairman has expressed commitment to establish it in 2024, is a remarkable departure from the pronouncements of previous National Chairmen.

“Perhaps, also worthy of commendation is the initiative of Dr. Ganduje to visit President Asiwaju Tinubu together with all members of NWC. This has not happened in a long time. The last time the NWC, as a body, met with the President is probably during the tenure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole between 2018 and 2020.”