Transparency International in a new report has said that the Nigerian army’s fight against Boko Haram is strongly undermined by the very high risk of corruption within her defence circles.
This is coming few days after the EFCC disclosed that top military brass corruptly enriched themselves to the tune of N1trn meant for arms purchase in the country.
This was disclosed in a press release signed by the Director of Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme, Katherine Dixon, through Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, yesterday in Abuja.
Dixon said that the Nigerian defence institutions are ranked “E” meaning that they are at a very high risk of corruption, adding that the systematic weaknesses in defence anti-corruption system must be addressed to fight Boko Haram.
He also explained that the findings so far has shown that parliamentarians fail to exercise their oversight of defence and security policy, defence budgets lack transparency despite making up for 20% of the national budget and soldiers fail to receive the necessary equipment to adequately fight Boko Haram as military hardware procurement is not scrutinized on grounds of national security. This has undermined efforts to combat the growing threat of Boko Haram.
He further disclosed that President Buhari has taken positive steps to address corruption, including the arrest of former defence officials. The Transparency International report, however, highlights that the defence corruption problems Nigeria faces today are systemic.
“In very few places globally is the dangerous correlation between corruption and insecurity as stark as it is in Nigeria. Gaping holes in military budgets, down to a lack of oversight and transparency, are contributing to a rise in support of extremism, and crucially disabling the fight against it.”
“President Buhari has made some positive efforts, but arrests of former officials aren’t enough on their own.
“Failure to get this right will see funds and weapons diverted into the hands of terrorists and the fight against Boko Haram will never be won,” he said.
Dixon therefore urged Nigerian, Mali, Niger, Chad and other countries in the Sahel to address corruption risks urgently to restore stability in the region.

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