Defence: Experts Move to Halt Financial Mismanagement

Defence: Experts Move to Halt Financial Mismanagement

 

Financial mismanagement in the Defence and Security sector weakens the capabilities of the armed forces, diminishes the effectiveness of law enforcement, and creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited by both internal and external threats, experts have said.

They made this known at a one-day Dialogue on Anti-corruption in the Defence and Security sector for civil society in Akwa Ibom State.

The dialogue, organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/TI-Nigeria in collaboration with the Transparency International-Defence and Security Program with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands was aimed at strengthening the capacity of Civil Society to advocate and conduct state and national engagements towards an accountable, responsive, and efficient management of the Nigeria Defence and Security sector.

The experts observed that corruption and financial mismanagement in the Defence and Security are necessitated by high value contracts, high level information secrecy, political connections, complex/technical procurements procedures, and exploitation of the hierarchical nature of the military.

“Operational and procurement activities of the Nigeria’s Defence and Security sector are most susceptible to corruption, mismanagement, deliberate secrecy, and needless complexity.

“Financial mismanagement in the sector weakens the capabilities of the armed forces, diminishes the effectiveness of law enforcement, and creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited by both internal and external threats.

“Corruption and financial mismanagement in the Defence budget and Security provisioning in Nigeria manifest in procurement, asset sales, budgetary process, salary theft, illicit use of military intelligence, among others.

“Therefore, adequate provision of financial resources for the implementation of anti-corruption reforms and strengthening oversight mechanisms should be prioritised.

“There is a need to identify and dismantle the systemic corruption networks within the sector through deliberate structural changes and targeted efforts to root out individuals involved in corrupt practices.

“Equally, strengthening financial controls and accountability mechanisms in the sector through implementation of stricter approval processes for expenditures and conducting regular financial audits, to prevent misuse of funds and ensure effective budget management.

“Also vital is maintaining bilateral partnerships with successful nations in the Defence budget and Security provisioning to explore joint initiatives for enhanced standards and best practice in Nigeria.

“Lastly and importantly, regular demand for transparency and accountability in the Defence and Security sector through continuous engagements in budgetary provisioning and procurement activities by active civil society is a necessity.” the experts said.