Nigeria Duplicated 316 Projects in Budget, no Defence Audit in 6 Years

Nigeria Duplicated 316 Projects in Budget, no Defence Audit in 6 Years

By Chuks Emele

Nigeria duplicated 316 projects worth 39.5 billion naira in the 2021 budget and has yet to audit 10.02 trillion naira of defence spending made since 2015, a budget-monitoring civic group said.

These are corruption loopholes found through an analysis of budget allocations conducted by Nigerian non-governmental organization, BudgiT, “with115 of those duplicate projects occurring in the Ministry of Health,” the organization said in a report released on Tuesday.

“This is very disturbing especially considering the health infrastructure deficit and the raging COVID-19 pandemic affecting Nigeria,” the organization said.

Some of the allocations went to agencies that lacked the ability to execute the stated projects, the group said. For instance, the National Agriculture Seed Council got  400 million naira to construct solar street lights across the country, a project it lacks the expertise to implement, the group said.

Nigeria is facing dire economic straits after the price of oil, its main export, plunged last year as demand evaporated on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. BudgiT’s analysis indicates that these straightened circumstances have no slowed that the rate of Official corruption and waste.

The non-governmental organization is concerned that “Nigeria is already haunted by a staggering 3.31 trillion naira debt-servicing burden which will wipe out nearly 41.63 percent of the projected N7.99 trillion 2021 revenue.”

BudgiT urged the Nigerian government and lawmakers to take steps to block the leakages and make optimal use of available public funds.