From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world in commemorating this year’s Anti-Corruption Day with the theme: “Strategies and Mechanisms for the Transparent Management of COVID-19 Funds,” the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has expressed concern that despite the trillions of Naira for fuel subsidies, the process is opaque and product scarcity has persisted for months.
In a statement by Executive Director CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, who noted that this is the sixth edition of the event, reminded the government on the need to be transparent on its expenditures.
He said: “A good example is the lingering fuel scarcity which has lasted for months. This is despite the huge sums set aside for subsidy payments. Citizens struggle to understand how trillions are budgeted for fuel subsidy.
“This year’s celebration is a good time to remind INEC, anti-graft agencies and law enforcement agencies of their role in enabling a free and fair elections devoid of dirty money and vote trading. As the highest Illicit Financial Flow (IFF) offender in the African continent with an estimated sum of $18 billion, according to the African Union High Level panel on IFF led by Thabo Mbeki, existing laws around money laundering and political party financing in Nigeria should be adhered to so that politicians don’t use ill gotten wealth to get into power.”
CISLAC also reminded the Buhari’s administration athat citizens are keenly watching events around the office of the accountant general of the federation.
“With three different individuals acting in that capacity in less than two months, and the numerous allegations against the previous two, citizens demand answers and the government should not sweep the matter under the carpet.
“There is also a need to investigate the deteriorating security situation bedevilling the country, the latest which is the Kuje prison break. Recent discoveries of huge sums in the residence of military contractors needs to be investigated to its logical conclusion. Funds meant for securing the lives and properties of Nigerians shouldn’t be diverted.
“In conclusion, we would like to call on the anti-graft agencies to be very professional in their actions. Rather than seek media trial and sensational reporting, they should endeavour to do their assignments thoroughly so that state resources are conserved.”