OrderPaperToday – Transparency International (TI) has accused Nigerian lawmakers over their failure to exercise their oversight of defence and security budget.
This, TI said, has contributed to a systemic weakness in Nigerian defence’s anti-corruption systems, hence the rise to insurgency.
According to a new report released by the body, Nigeria’s defence institutions are ranked ‘E’, indicating a “very high risk” of corruption.
The findings have revealed that the Parliamentarians dropping the ball on their constitutional duties as policymakers has caused Nigerian army’s fight against Boko Haram to be strongly undermined.
TI therefore recommended that those systemic issues must be addressed to fight Boko Haram.
The survey also show that defence budgets lack transparency despite making up for 20% of the national budget, while soldiers fail to receive the necessary equipment to adequately fight Boko Haram as military hardware procurement is not scrutinised on grounds of national security.
Director of Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme, Katherine Dixon said: “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.”
Nigeria’s ranking comes amidst a context of similar results across Africa. Transparency International’s Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index looked at 47 African nations and found the majority facing very high to critical risk of defence corruption.