18 February 2014

Nigeria: SERAP Wants Anti-Corruption Agencies to Monitor Spending On Boko Haram

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Tuesday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to instruct anti-corruption agencies to monitor government's spending on the fight against Boko Haram.

The civil society group made the request in an open letter addressed to the president, signed by its Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, and made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Mumuni stressed the need for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the expenditure on the insurrection.

He, however, expressed worry over a recent statement credited to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, that "Boko Haram members were better armed and motivated than Nigerian troops."

"If true, it suggests that colossal sums of security funds that have so far been budgeted to prosecute the fight against Boko Haram have not achieved value for money.

"SERAP is concerned that the funds may not have been appropriately spent," he said.

Mumuni said that the president would be demonstrating his commitment to ending the Boko Haram insurgency by inviting both agencies to check leakages in the procurement processes.

"This will help to ensure that the funds are spent exactly to end the unnecessary loss of lives and other continuing serious violations of human rights in that part of the country.

"Increasing transparency and accountability in the spending on Boko Haram will also help to improve citizens' confidence in the ability of the government to end the problem," he said.

"The government cannot continue to use sensitivity or security concerns as an excuse to avoid the urgent need for transparency and accountability in this respect.

"SERAP expressed optimism that the involvement of the EFCC and ICPC would help to avoid excessive, wasteful and corrupt expenditures and procurement," Mumuni said.

He, therefore, urged the National Assembly to be involved and more proactive in exercising its oversight constitutional roles in this respect.


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