The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has queried the rationale behind the approved $1 billion (one billion dollar) to acquire equipment for military as the party demanded openness, transparency and democratic management of all public funds including security and military votes and expenditures.
This was contained statement released and signed by the National Secretary of the party, Chinedu Bosah, which says that the SPN strongly holds the position that government should prioritise investing more resources on the welfare of the people and for massive job creation to guarantee social security.
According to the statement, “No amount of arms and military equipment can conveniently fight insecurity in an atmosphere of massive joblessness and lack of basic infrastructure. We do not see the wisdom in spending $1 billion (N305 billion) on military equipment and arms, an amount that is more than the combined 2017 capital budget for education (N50 billion), water resources (N85 billion), UBEC (N92 billion), and health (N51 billion) and in a country wherein 70% of its populace are living below poverty line”.
“It could be recalled that on Wednesday April 4, 2018, the Defence Minister, Mr. Mansur Dan-Ali told the world that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the purchase of more military equipment worth $1 billion. Is it not curious that the federal government that claimed to have technically defeated Boko Haram and insurgency could approve the spending of a whopping sum of $1 billion for military equipment and arms aside budgetary allocation for defence?
“This $1billion (N305 billion) could end up as another Dasukigate considering the fact that defense expenditure lack transparency and accountability because it is undemocratically treated as classified item which gives room for looting. We therefore strongly suspect that Buhari’s government wants to deploy this security fund as the war chest of APC for 2019 general elections as former President Jonathan and PDP did in 2015.
“SPN is calling for non-sectarian well trained, armed and democratically controlled community defence to fight against insurgencies and other violent crimes. This policy will be more effective in the fight against violent crimes and undermine looting of public funds budgeted for security”, the statement concluded.