A VOTE FOR ACCOUNTABLE SECURITY EXPENDITURE — Nigerian Pilot News
Connect with us

Editorial

A VOTE FOR ACCOUNTABLE SECURITY EXPENDITURE

Published

on

A VOTE FOR ACCOUNTABLE SECURITY EXPENDITURE

The issues surrounding allocations, disbursements and expenditures of ‘security vote’ by Nigerian President and State Governors in the country have remained parts of Nigeria’s wasteful democratic practice. This is one of the knotty issues in Nigeria’s public debate which has yielded nil result, vociferous advocacy against it’s controversial philosophy and practice notwithstanding.

Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution Section 14(2)(b) states that it is the primary responsibility of government to provide security and welfare for the citizens. But whether governments at different levels have been living up to these responsibilities leaves much to be desired.

In fact, the lives and property of Nigerians across the states of the federation have never been more endangered than the current experience. Worst still is the fact that, from the president to state governors, gargantuan amount of funds are allocated for the so-called security vote, besides statutory allocations and special intervention funds.

Echoing the bitter public complaints against the secretive security vote budget, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), one of Nigeria’s leading vocal civil right organisations has recently criticised, not just the philosophy of the security vote, but its capricious administration, especially its complete lack of accountability.

Invoking the provision of the Freedom of Information Act, SERAP sent requests to President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors in Nigeria asking them to furnish it with “information on specific details of spending of appropriated public funds as security votes between 2011 and 2019.”

SERAP’s request is specific, punchy and it hits target: “Given the current security realities in the country, we need the information to determine if public funds meant to provide security and ensure respect and protection of the rights to life, physical integrity, and liberty of Nigerians have been spent for this purpose. Our request is limited to details of visible, specific security measures and projects executed and does not include spending on intelligence operations.”

We agree with SERAP’s position that, “there is a strong link between corruption and insecurity, violence, kidnappings and killings in several parts of the country. Available evidence would seem to suggest that many of the tiers of government in Nigeria have used security votes as a conduit for grand corruption rather than spending the funds to improve and enhance national security and ensure full protection of Nigerians’ rights to life, physical integrity, and liberty”.

It is evident that ‘security vote’ is nothing more than pocket money of politicians, their wives, children, family members, concubines, friends, associates and political campaigns. Indeed, the concept and practice of security vote has legalised and entrenched the culture of profligacy, greed and corruption in our political system as the fund is usually not accounted for.

We propose two solutions to handling the issue of security vote in our country: it is either it is made public and accounted for or it should be scrapped off. Nigeria cannot continue to feed a coterie of greedy and corrupt political elite with hundreds of billions of Naira annually through dubious allocations at the expense of citizens’ worsening safety and security. There should be accountability in security spending. This is one important direction President Buhari should direct the anti-corruption campaign of his administration, especially in view of the numerous allegations bordering on misappropriation of defence budgets among defence agencies.

QUOTE

Nigeria cannot continue to feed a coterie of greedy and corrupt political elite with hundreds of billions of Naira annually through dubious allocations at the expense of citizens’ worsening safety and security. There should be accountability in security spending. This is one important direction President Buhari should direct the anti-corruption campaign of his administration, especially in view of the numerous allegations bordering on misappropriation of defence budgets among defence agencies

165 total views, 105 views today

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Click to comment
Advertisement
Advertisement
Loading...

Most Read