Transparency International levels allegation of fraud against Nigeria's security chiefs, governors

Transparency International levels allegation of fraud against Nigeria's security chiefs, governors

- Transparency International has accused Nigeria's security chiefs and governors of stealing from the nation's coffers

- The anti-graft organisation claimed that the estimated unaccounted-for-cash expenditures add up to over N241.2 billion annually

An anti-graft organisation, Transparency International, on Wednesday, July 25, claimed over N241 billion is being siphoned from the nation's treasury annually by Nigeria's security chiefs and governors.

Daily Trust reports that Transparency International in a report titled: "Camouflaged Cash - How Security Votes Fuel Corruption in Nigeria" claimed that the estimated expenditures that can't be accounted for is up to over N241.2 billlion annually.

A representative of the organisation's Defence and Security unit, Adeolu Kilanko, asked for a legislation to abolish security vote as he claimed the words 'security votes' are synonymous with official corruption and abuse of power among average Nigerians.

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He said: "In just one year, these extra budgetary expenditures add up to over nine times the amount of US security assistance to Nigeria since 2012 ($68.6m) and over twelve times the $53.5m (40million pounds) in counterterrorism support the UK promised Nigeria from 2016 to 2020 .

"Looking at it from another angle, security vote spending exceeds 70 percent of the annual budget of the Nigeria Police Force, more than the Nigerian Army's annual budget, and more than the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force's annual budgets combined."

Although, top security chiefs and governors were indicted in the slush cash, TI commended some state governors for transiting from security vote to Security Trust Fund (STF), especially Lagos state for shifting toward using a public-private security trust fund to provide supplementary funding to security services in the state.

Kilanko said it is noteworthy that the Security Trust Fund established in Lagos was typically set up by legislation and managed by a board of trustees drawn from government and private industry.

He said: "The federal government and Nigeria's international partners should work with state governments to established Security Trust Funds as a transitional measure. Security Trust Fund best practices should be enshrined in an act passed by the National Assembly, to ensure that their funds are used accountably and in the public interest.

"The Lagos state Security Trust Fund could be drawn upon as a model. To succeed, these funds must be professionally managed, cost effective, transparent and free from political and security force interference."

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Meanwhile, earlier reported that Senator Abdullahi Gumel (APC), representing Jigawa North West senatorial district, has urged Nigerians not to express fears over the Executive Order 6, recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gumel said that only “thieves” would be afraid of an order meant to help preserve assets wrongfully acquired.

The lawmaker, who is chairman, Senate committee on states and local government Administration, said it was not meant to witch-hunt Nigerians except those looting the resources of the country for personal interest.

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Source: Legit

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