BUHARI, OTHERS TASKED TO DISCLOSE SECURITY VOTE FOR 2021 BUDGET
By Godwin Ogar
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose how much the government has earmarked for security in the 2021 budget. This comes as a result of the high level of insecurity in the country.
SERAP made the call in a request presented to the presidency dated 26th December 2020, a request which is in line with the Freedom of Information, FOI, Act 2011.
The same request, according to sources, have been made to the 36 state governors in the country.
The statement which was signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, called on the president, along with the 36 state governors to disclose details of proposed security votes spending in the 2021 appropriation bills of the federal and states governments “to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians, and to explain the measures your governments are putting in place to prevent the misuse and embezzlement of public funds in the name of security votes”.
According to SERAP, the time has come for governments at all levels to show transparency and accountability in the use of public funds meant to ensure the security of lives and properties in the country, in view of security challenges such as the killing of over 43 farmers in Zabarmari, the kidnap of about 344 students at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, among many other incidences of kidnappings and killings carried out by bandits and Boko Haram members in the country.
SERAP states further that if the amount set aside for security is made known by the federal and states governments, it will help in creating understanding between the governments and their subjects concerning what the various governments are doing to address insecurity in the country.
The Freedom of Information Act which was signed by former president Goodluck Jonathan into law in 2011 gives individuals and organisations the right to request for information from all offices of government.