Nigeria spends $670m on slush funds yearly – CISLAC

Nigeria spends an estimated $670 million on slush funds or what is popularly referred to as security votes  every year, according to the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).

Samuel Asimi, program specialist at CISLAC who made this known at a workshop on reporting corruption for journalists in Abuja said, these slush funds are usually unaccounted for and are not audited.

“The security sector plays a key role in the economy, and with corruption in this sector, there will be no sustainable development”, said Asimi.

He lamented that, despite this and other withdrawals by the present and past administrations from the reserve account known as Excess Crude Account (ECA), the security situation has failed to improve.

He said, research by Council on Foreign Relations shows that, in spite of the spendings, there is a 100 per cent increase in Kidnappings. According to him, the level of kidnapping rose from 1,386 in 2019 to 2,860 cases in 2020.

Also, another investigation by Global Rights Mass Atrocities Report indicates that, persons that died from violent killings rose by 43 per cent between 2019 and 2020. The report said, 4,556 persons died from violent related killings in 2020, up from 3,188 persons in 2019.

Asimi tried to trace the genesis of the corruption and criminality to el total processes. According to him, funds are laundered illicitly into Nigerian political processes at the national and state level, with high rates of vote trading which undermines the integrity of the political process.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 21 per cent of the adult population of Nigeria reported that they were personally offered money or a favour in exchange for their votes during the national and states election in 2019.