The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to move against security votes for governors which accounted to over N241.2bn annually in his second tenure.
The Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr .Auwal Musa Rafsanjani made the call on Friday in Abuja at a news conference tagged “Setting the Anti-corruption Agenda for the Incoming Administration”
He said it is regrettable that the same governors who claim not to be in charge of the security apparatus in their states still receive huge sums as security votes and which they mostly do not account for.
“CISLAC and other civil society groups have been consistent in proposing immediate solutions which is to ban senseless security votes which accounts in total for around N241.2bn. This is a sum that exceeds 70 percent of the annual budget of the Nigeria Police Force.”
“As the president begins his second tenure, there is the need to make defence budgets more accessible for public scrutiny. Appoint civilian oversight in charge of military procurement and encourage the culture of reporting corruption within the ranks and files of the Nigerian Armed Forces,” Rafsanjani said.
According to him, corruption in the defence and security sectors contributed significantly to the human despair and economic stagnation in Nigeria.
He said that while the Nigeria defence budget soared more than 500 per cent in the last 10 years, insecurity and breakdown of the rule of law in some parts of the country continued unabated.
“The recent revelation by the Inspector-General of Police that 1,071 persons were killed while 685 were kidnapped in the first quarter of 2019 was alarming,” he said.
While saying that CISLAC regretted the rejection of the reform bill by the House of Representative that would have tackled some of these issues, he said these were recommendations articulated and received from a wide range of stakeholders working across the anti-corruption issue raising concerns as to the usefulness and genuineness of the motive of having security votes in place.
He added that the introduction of beneficial ownership of companies was also needed to know the extent of suspected ownership of politicians and civil servants of oil and gas companies.
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