The group asks the Nigerian Government to exchange the nation’s resource, such as crude oil, for military hardware
A group, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has demanded a thorough and exhaustive audit of defence spending since the return of the country to democratic governance in 1999 as well as the kicking off of immediate steps to recover and return the mismanaged and looted security funds back to the treasury.
It also asked the Senate to bring to account all persons linked to the mismanagement of security votes from 2011 till date.
The group made the demands in a statement on Monday while reacting to the request by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Senate for the approval of a foreign loan of $1 billion to finance the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
In the statement by its Executive Director, Auwal Musa, CISLAC urged the National Assembly and prominent Nigerians to disregard duplicitous request to augment security vote without accountability for the whopping sums allocated to the sector in the past.
It advised the Federal Government to, instead of subjecting the country to unnecessary debt through the loan, it should exchange the nation’s resources, such as crude oil, for military hardware like other needy countries had done in the past.
The group also asked the government to embrace the suggestion of the international communities offering to assist Nigeria to curtail insecurity.
It commended the Senate for its prompt response against such loan that violates the provision of Fiscal Responsibility Act; and calls on the National Assembly to bring to account, all persons linked to the mismanagement of security votes since 2011 to date.
It however reminded both chambers of the National Assembly that it owed Nigerians total accountability in any approval of deceitful requests by the executive.
ISLAC lamented that in the last four years, trillions of naira were committed to security and defence annually from national budget, yet the fight against the insurgents rages on with deadly consequences.
According to the group, giving the daily kidnappings, massacres and destruction of property across the country by the insurgents, various reports are of opinion that upgrading arms and ammunition for the nation’s armed forces to tackle the insurgents would be of no benefit without constructive strategy to end the attacks.
“The degree of destructions on facilities has denied victims of various attacks access to adequate medical attention including the security personnel whose families have been subjected to life-threatening situations as they are not sufficiently compensated following the killings of their love ones,” the group said.
“Apart from being the victims of regular attacks, security personnel are not adequately equipped, fortified and compensated to curtail the attacks; and the degree of attacks by the insurgents has clearly indicated they are well positioned to be at advantage of the ongoing calamity.”
The group said while the armed forces groaned in the midst of poor working conditions and inadequate equipment, government showed no appreciative effort to call to account the natural and artificial persons who had mismanaged various security contracts resulting in failure in national security.
The request by the Federal Government violate the Fiscal Responsibility Act, FRA, which authorizes borrowing only for capital expenditure and human development, the statement said.
It added, “It is worrisome that such request to obtain whopping sum comes few months to 2015 general elections with the previous allegations of huge sums expend on campaign financing by the present administration; thus threatening the sincerity and honesty of the fundamental purpose of the loan.
“The recent lamentation by Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro on the lack of critical military equipment for the military in the last 25 years has further indicated total mismanagement and poor accountability in the nation’s security affairs.”
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