A civic-tech organization, BudgIT has advocated for transparency and accountability in public finance in Nigeria.
It asked the government to audit security spending and close gaps for corruption in its budget process.
BudgIT’s CEO, Gabriel Okeowo in a statement obtained by TOS News , tilted: “Demanding Budget Reforms for Resources Optimization” said 2021 has been a tough year as regards security in the country despite an allocation of over N10.02 trillion to security in the space of 2015 and 2021.
Okeowo called for scrutiny on how allocations are being spent as he pointed to the 2021 budget that mapped out 1.97tn to the entire security sector. This showed an increase in 14% from the N1.74tn that was in the previous year.
In his words, “Our investigations into the 2021 budget revealed at least 316 duplicated capital projects worth 39.5bn naira, with 115 of those duplicate projects occurring in the ministry of health. This is very disturbing especially considering the health infrastructure deficit and the raging Covid-19 pandemic affecting Nigeria.”
He pointed out that agencies receive allocations for capital projects they cannot execute giving reference to the National Agriculture seed council that has an allocation for 400million naira to construct solar street lights across all six geo-political zones, while the federal college of forestry in Ibadan, Oyo state has an allocation of 50million for the construction of street light in Edo state.
Okeowo who opined that Nigeria’s budget can be an excellent tool to fasten economic recovery, thereby urged the government to fasten the blockage of loopholes in budget implementation process.