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CISLAC Frowns At Budget Secrecy In Defence, Security Sector

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), has charged media practitioners and Civil Society groups to rise up as voice of the masses to change the narrative of culture of secrecy on issue of financial budget and management associated with the nation’s Defence and security sector.

 It noted that since inception of the entity called Nigeria, the issue of budget finance and management had always been shrouded in secrecy in the said areas, even when the funds  being appropriated and expended are tax payers money.

 Executive Director CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa- Rafsanjani, stated this weekend in Enugu during a one day Anti corruption training for CSOs and media in South East Nigeria, on Defence budget Analysis, monitoring, and tracking held in Enugu.

 He regretted that lack of transparency and accountability on the issue of budget in various sectors of the nation’s economy has remained a major cog in the wheel of progress of the nation, but more deeply rooted  in the Defence and security sectors.

 Represented by the Organization’s officer in charge of monitoring, Evaluation, and accountability, Lovelyn Agbor- Gabriel, the CISLAC boss, posited that  as watchdog of the society, the media and CSOs have vital role to play in changing the unpopular narrative in the country, especially under a democratic setting.

 He expressed the hope that the training which was organized by CISLAC, in collaboration with Transparency International- Defence and security programme with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, will go a long way in boosting the skills of the participants in often asking relevant questions on the subject matter.

 In a paper, Titled: ‘Monitoring and Oversight of the Defence Sector and Human Security in Nigeria’ professor Freedom Onuoha, of the Department of political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), noted that a transparent and detailed budget that is available to the public is key to holding governments accountable to their citizens .

 According to him, “Non-transparent financial management in defence combined with the lack of accountability is a powerful enabler of corrupt practices within defence.

 The University Don added that “transparency and accountability deficits can lead to great waste of resources and sub-optimal performance of defence forces.

 “Sustenance of capacity building for critical non-state actors (CSOs and Media) is vital to building integrity and reducing the corruption potentials in the defence budget/expenditure, addressing external and internal security needs.

 He said the defence sector is crucial to preserving both the internal and external security of a state and the well-being of its citizens – (e.g Nigeria).

 Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. About 80% of its military personnel are currently deployed in Internal Security Operations (ISOs) across the 36 states. Insecurity has resulted in increased budgetary allocations to the defence and security sector.

 “A total of N11.18 trillion was budgeted for security from 2015 to 2022. A lot of funds go into this critical sector; it is imperative that there is adequate monitoring, tracking and analysis of budget, releases and spending to enhance human security provisioning.

 “Non-state actors (media and CSO) can play a watchdog role on the activities of the defence sector which include finances and budget” he stated.

 The training which attracted media and CSOs personnel from Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi states, also featured other paper presentations.



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