The Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has commended the bold and uncommon step taken by the Governor of Kaduna state, El-Rufai, to disclose his monthly salary as governor and details of the expenditure of his monthly security vote.The disclosure came on the heels of a challenge thrown at him by the leadership of the House of Representatives after the Kaduna state governor accused the House of Representatives of scuttling the anti-corruption effort of the Federal government.
The security vote is a humongous sum of money allocated to state governors and the executive arms of government for the maintenance of law and order. Because of the sensitive nature of data and intelligence gathering, it is deemed inappropriate to account for how such monies are expended, and this has led to fraudulent practices, abuse and corruption. Nigerians have complained as well that even though the governors receive these sums monthly, there has been a high incidence of insecurity across board nationwide.
‘We believe that this action on the part of the Kaduna state governor is an example to all state governors. We urge them to emulate him and publish a monthly expenditure of how they have spent their security votes over the past year’, ANEEJ executive director the Rev David Ugolor said.
At the inception of the Buhari administration, investigations revealed that $2.5billion which was supposed to have been used to buy arms to fight terrorists was mismanaged, stolen and has not been accounted for. Since that investigation at the Federal level, a parallel investigation involving the expenditure of the security vote at state level has not taken place.
‘ANEEJ wants all other state governments to follow suit. But beyond this, it behoves on the legislature which has thrown the challenge at the state governor to open up its books as well for rigorous scrutiny. Over the years, there have been many calls on the National Assembly to open its books for public debate, especially after Nigeria entered a recession. Recently, the Senate has refused to confirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive EFCC Chairman apparently because of the perception of corruption prevalent in the National Assembly and the full-scale investigation which could occur in the event of the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu’, the Rev Ugolor asserted.