Against the background of worsening insecurity in the country, BudgIT has disclosed that the nation allocated over N10.02trillion to the security sector between 2015 and 2021.
The Chief Executive Officer, BudgIT, Gabriel Okeowo, stated this while commenting on the civic-tech nonprofit organisation’s recent publication, titled: “Demanding Budget Reforms for Resource Optimisation.”
He called on government to audit security spending and close loopholes for corruption in budget process, adding that increased resources allocated to the security sector meant less money to develop other sectors.
He said: “2021 has been a horrifying year for Nigerians concerning security as the country combats mutating forms of crime and terror across all its 36 states; this is despite allocating over N10.02 trillion to security between 2015 and 2021. In the 2021 budget, the entire security sector’s allocation was N1.97 trillion, representing a 14 per cent increase from the N1.78 trillion allocated in 2020.”
He pointed out that the BudgIT publication noted that various nonsecurity related government agencies now request and receive allocations for Security Votes, which, according to him, are “an opaque feature of the Nigerian security ecosystem devoid of accountability.”
According to him: “In the 2021 budget, a total of 117 federal agencies received allocations for Security Votes worth N24.3 billion, despite many of these agencies already having allocations for Security Charges to cover each agency’s security needs.”
The publication, he further stated, also observed that the meager budgetary allocation provided to other sectors does not usually amount to much due to leakages and theft of public funds. He said: “Our investigations into the 2021 budget revealed at least 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion, with 115 of those duplicate projects occurring in the Ministry of Health.
This is very disturbing, especially considering the health infrastructure deficit and the raging COVID-19 affecting Nigeria