Increase transparency in the security sector to defeat corruption.
18th May, Abuja – An opaque and secretive security sector will jeopardize President Buhari’s ambitious anti-corruption drive and is derailing the fight against Boko Haram, according to a new report by Transparency International.
Weaponising Transparency has found that unpublished defence budgets and arms procurements are still open to abuse by corrupt officials seeking to benefit from the conflict with Boko Haram and launder stolen money abroad. Many deaths in the conflict have occurred while the military lacks vital equipment, critical training, and morale.
Since 2011, 50,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict with Boko Haram, while millions have been displaced. An estimated US $15bn has been stolen from the defence sector and billions of Naira spent annually without clear rationale. While President Buhari has made significant moves to take on the secretive and powerful defence sector, the pace of reform in the MOD is too slow and lacks any strategy.
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre said:
“More spending does not mean more security without tackling corruption. The defence sector is a juicy target for corrupt military leaders seeking to pad their pockets. Without increasing transparency and oversight of our most secret sector, we will not succeed in keeping Nigerian wealth in Nigeria. Corruption in the defence sector only helps Boko Haram.”
Katherine Dixon, Director Transparency International Defence and Security said:
“With oil prices low and conflict at a high, defence has become the new oil for Nigerian kleptocrats. Taking on the defence sector was a bold move by President Buhari. But on their own efforts to bring the corrupt to justice are not enough. Detailed anti-corruption reforms are needed to prevent the next US $15 billion quietly leaving Nigeria through the back door.”
Transparency International is recommending Nigeria undertake a series of reforms that include:
Transparency International is also calling on the international community to prioritise anti-corruption clauses in their defence deals.
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Transparency International Defence and Security and its Nigerian partner Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) will be hosting a press conference in Abuja to launch the report:
1100 / 18th May 2017
No 41 Ajose Adeogun Street
Utako District, Abuja
For more information on the press conference or to register attendance contact:
+234 803 384 4646
+234 706 134 7269
TI Defence & Security