BY EMEKA EJERE
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a frontline pro-democracy think tank, on Friday listed what it called some shortcomings of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the last five years.
CDD while observing some gaps in the implementation of the anti-corruption programme of the federal government, berated Buhari for his alleged tendency to condone corruption within his own administration and party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In a report by its Director, Idayat Hassan, the body claimed Buhari has consistently turned blind eyes to allegations against some of his appointees.
The report reads: “Consequently, the assessment knocks the President for his tendency to condone corruption
within his own administration and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party. In this
regard, President Buhari gets the flak over accusations that he consistently turned a blind eye
to malfeasance by some of his own appointees and resisted independent oversight of Nigeria’s
most scandal-ridden agencies.”
“The report notes the untenable situation wherein the “Buhari cabinet includes several individuals tainted by accusations of corruption. It went on to document that in the five years under review, the APC nominated, while the President personally campaigned for many notorious kleptocrats.”
On the vexed issue of opaque use of security votes, CDD berated Buhari’s administration for using corruption-prone slush funds.
CDD knocked the President for failure to curb defence and security corruption.
It said: “The assessment asserts that expenditures in the defence and security sector continue to escape public and legislative scrutiny, and mostly occur under emergency procurement processes that lack basic
anti-corruption safeguards. The government was similarly called out over the continued the practice of awarding crude oil lifting contracts to middlemen firms, including those implicated in the 2010 fuel subsidy fraud scandal.”
Another shortcoming identified by the five year assessment of CDD was the failure of the government to
achieve the required reforms in the petroleum sector.
“President Buhari who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the assessment avers bears personal responsibility for his government’s failure to undertake basic, and long overdue, reforms to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“Widely seen as one of the most corrupt and mismanaged national oil companies in the world, the NNPC continues to conceal illicit financial outflows from public or legislative scrutiny, inflate internal administrative budgets and withhold oil revenues from the national treasury,” the report said.
Added to the other shortcomings outlined in the assessment, is the issue of declining fiscal
transparency on the watch of the President.
The assessment noted that “the Central Bank of
Nigeria, CBN, exemplifies this shortcoming as it has become less transparent and more vulnerable to political influence on fiscal and monetary policy.”
It bemoaned the situation wherein “the bank’s oversight role has diminished and the relationship between it and the nation’s commercial banks has become too cozy. Since 2015, sales of discounted foreign
exchange to privileged recipients have become more opaque than ever before.”
Among other recommendations, the report called on the government to take practical steps to improve transparency and accountability in the budgeting, expenditure and contracting processes.
The body recommended that government officials and ruling party politicians exerting pressure on anti-corruption agencies and judiciary over corruption cases involving them, be
Just yesterday, the Presidency had listed some of Buhari’s achievements in the last five years.