The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged journalist to carry on an investigative journalism to further see the delivery of the defense budget following the increasing spate of kidnapping, banditry and incessant armed robbery attacks across the country.
This, the group said, there is need to follow and monitor the delivery of security budget as this will reduce corruption within the security system and also bring transparency in the procurement of arms and dealing with security issues.
Speaking at a one-day media workshop for defense Journalist in Ikeja Lagos, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa said, despite the huge amount of money budgeted to provide equipment for security and protection of Nigerians; the defense budget is not been used enough to reduce the security challenges.
According to him, “a lot of money have been budgeted for the police to receive arms and ammunition since 2019 but till date, police has not got anything so we cannot afford to be syphoning public tax payers’ money in the name of security and yet Nigerians are not seeing any improvement in the security of their lives and properties because every part of the country is vulnerable now.
Meanwhile, security BOT is like almost a pre-money because it is not edited, accounted for and many officials are using it for political and their own personal enrichment hence, we cannot continue to talk about improving security when this kind of corruption is happening in the security sector.
He lamented that the National Assembly which has the responsibility to ensure that they take audit of all the money that has been allocated for security, are not being able to interrogate the missing of billions and trillions of naira that are not commensurable to the safety, protection and welfare of the Nigerian security. So, the government need to utilise it resources both internal and external to block this tendency of rehabilitating criminals.
“We cannot continue to service the interest of few individuals at the expense of the lives and protection of Nigerians, that is why civil society will continue to drag the government and also continue to provide credible information on how the government should go about dealing with issues of insecurity.
Auwal also explained that the only solution to this trend within the security sector is to demand for accountability thereby have a sincere security reform at all level.
He further, urged journalists to monitor the defense budget and its expenditure thereby demanding for accountability when writing stories related to security budget hence, we all need to demand accountability so as to avoid the dire consequences for refusing to take appropriate and timely action to secure the country and secure the people.
Auwal also maintained, whatever the situation, we must insist that security sector reform is carried out in this country to ensure efficiency and the proper security incentives to help carry out their responsibilities effectively.