Under the watch of Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, the government spent billions of Dollars on security yet Nigeria continues to face widespread crime and attacks by Boko Haram.
The Jonathan administration spent a whopping 4.62 trillion naira or $23.2 billion on national security over the past five years, according to an International Business Times report.
The security sector has consistently claimed the largest chunk of the country’s expenses. Jonathan’s administration assigned security agencies a total of 934 billion naira or $4.69 billion in the 2015 budget, and 923 billion naira or $4.64 billion in the 2014 and 2013 budgets. The security sector received 924 billion and 920 billion for the 2012 and 2011 budgets respectively.
However, it remains unclear exactly how Nigerian security agencies spent these hefty sums because the country has seen little relief from terrorism, crude oil theft, kidnappings and other crimes.
Security chiefs have repeatedly claimed the allocated funds were insufficient to equip Nigerian forces, and the defense ministry has refused to make its spending public. Critics have accused Jonathan’s administration of corruption and using the funds to acquire illicit wealth. Anti-corruption activists said concealing the sector’s spending makes accountability more difficult to enforce.
“The absence of disclosure, backed by law and practice effectively makes the security sector the most prone to contract inflation and ineffective service delivery,” said Seember Nyager, executive director of Public and Private Development Centre, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to improving the integrity of public and private sector processes. “The high risk and probability of contract inflation in itself fuels the [Boko Haram] insurgency because no amount of resources would ever be sufficient to contain a system with unchecked leaks.”