Three months after it conducted its congresses and despite the billions of naira generated from sale of nomination and expression of interest forms, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) still owes N516 million in unpaid primary election allowances.
Party faithful who served in different committees during the Party’s primary elections and Special Congresses for the 2023 polls, including chairmen and secretaries of special committees, are yet to receive their payments and this has created some disquiet within the party, Prime Business Africa (PBA) reports.
Authoritative sources confirmed to our correspondent that the party appears to be reeling in poverty, even in the midst of obvious liquidity after it raked in billions and billions of naira from sale of nomination forms for presidential and other levels of the elections. The APC, according to an earlier report by PBA, netted more than N30 billion from its pre-2023 election internal uvbengagements, besides other revenue streams.
A member who is irked by the development said the Party Secretariat suffers from lack of attention and maintenance as ”release of funds for steady diesel and stationery is now a herculean task for the leadership.” It was gathered that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is also worried about the development which could technically affect its preparations to execute the 2023 election campaigns.
”It seems our party is broke…or they are hoarding the money. Our party is still owing party faithful who conducted the congress, convention and primary elections their various allowances,” one of the members privy to all the events told PBA.
He continued: ”The party is owing…staff salaries are not paid as and when due. Some members of the party have given money severally to the maintenance guys to buy diesel so that office work can go on.”
Prime Business Africa on Tuesday night reported exclusively that the Presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu an dhis running mate Kashim Shettima would be meeting with the NWC today, Wednesday, September 7 to interact with them. it remains unclear if the outstanding pre-election payments and other technical issues relating to offsetting the debt and funding effectively funding secretariat outside of the 2023 Campaign Office, would feature on the agenda.
The N516 million outstanding debt to Congress, Screening and Appeal Committee members represent the statutory allowances stipulated for chairmen, secretaries and members of hundreds of committees constituted by the APC as it held its National Convention, Congresses at different levels as well as the primary elections in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It was also gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the leadership of the party to refund aspirants who bought forms during the convention has not been carried out – another sore point in the matter now causing quiet discontentment within the ruling party.
An infuriated member of APC confirmed to PBA that ”even the NWC members have frowned at the refusal of the party to pay party faithful their hard-earned allowances.”
Breakdown of the Committees and amounts owed members in unpaid allowances
The committees across the 36 states are Screening, Primary Election and Appeal Committees for State Houses of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and Governorship. Although the membership of the committees was not uniform, each of them had chairman, secretary and varying number of members, not less than seven in many cases.
State Houses of Assembly
Prime Business Africa reports that there were 36 committees of seven (7) members each, inclusive of chairman and secretary for the State House of Assembly primary election. This means that the committees have five (5) members each. Each of the chairmen of the 36 committees was entitled to an allowance of N500,00, while the secretary was promised N400,000. Each of the other five members were to be paid the sum of N300,000, bringing the payable amount for each of the state committees to N2.4 million. For the State Houses of Assembly Primary elections, therefore, the total amount for the 36 states stood at N86.4 million.
State Houses of Assembly Appeal Committees – Unpaid allowances
For the State Houses of Assembly, there were also 36 Appeal Committees made of five (5) members, including chairmen and secretaries, who were to receive the same committee allowances bringing the sub total to N1.2 million, and that of the 36 states to some N43.2 million.
The grand total amount for the State Houses of Assembly primary election is N129.6 million.
House of Reps (37 committees) of 5 members each – Unpaid allowances
The same allowances of N500,000 (Chairman), N400,000 (Secretary) and N300,000 (member) were slated for members of the House of Reps Primary Election and Appeal Committees. Both committees (Election and Appeal) were replicated in 37 places, with the appeal committee having only 5 mebers as against 7 for the main one.
This brought the total payable allowance to N111 million (N64.6 milion for the main committee and N44.4 million for Appeal).
For the Senate, the APC had 37 primary election committees and another 37 committees for the Appeal. Each of the the 74 committees for the Senate elections had five members plus Chairman and Secretary who were each to be paid N500,000 and N400,000 respectively.
As was the case with State Assemblies and House of Reps, members of the 74 Election and Appeal committees were to receive N300,000 each, bringing the total payable amount to members of the 74 Senate committees to N111 million.
28 Governorship Committees of Five Members Each
the APC owes a total of N50 million for the primary election for governorship candidates in 28 sates. The breakdown is as follows:
3 Members: N300,000 x 3 = N1,800,000 x 28 states
Unpaid primary election Allowances Grand Total: N50, 400,000
Governorship Appeal Committee
This committee had only three members across 28 states who were each to be paid N500,00 (chairman), N400,000 (Secretary) and N300,000 (member). The total amount payable in each ofthe states was N1.2 million and when replicated in 28 states amounted to N33.6 million.
Total: N1,200,000 x 28 = N33.6 million
Grand Total: N33.6 million
Screening Committees – Unpaid Allowances
There were at least five categories of Screening and Screening Appeal Committees – Senate, House of Reps, Governorship – populated by senior APC members who were promised varying amounts as sitting allowances that are yet to be paid.
6 (six) Senate Screening Committees
The Senate Screening Committees are four (4) and each of the committees had six (6) members. Each of the Committees had chairman, secretary and four (4) other members.
The Committee was scheduled to be paid as follow:
Each member: N600,000
Total: N4.2 million x 4 screening committees
Grand total: N4.2 million x 4 Senate Screening Committees = N16.8 million
10 Screening Committees of 5 members each, for House of Reps
Member: N600,000 x3 (N1,800,000)
Total: N3.6 million x 10 Screening Committees
Grand Total: N36 million
3 (three) Screening Appeal Committees of 3 members each, for House of Reps
Total: N2.4 million x 3 Screening Appeal Committees
Grand Total: N7.2 million
3 Governorship Screening Committees of 5 members each (15)
Member: N600,000 x3 – N1,800,000
Total: N3.6 million x 3 Governorship Screening Committees =
Grand total: N10.2 million.
2 (two) Governorship Screening Appeal Committees of 3 members each (6 people)
The ruling APC will be paying out a total of N4,800,000 ( Four Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira only) for this category.