06 Feb 2016
The Federal Government of Nigeria has pledged 27.7 billion naira to anti-corruption agencies as part of its annual budget. The proposal represents a 3.1% increase from 2015 in the amount ring-fenced for fighting corruption.
The money will be directed to nine anti-corruption agencies, with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission receiving the lion’s share of N11.2 billion.
The budget announcement is seen by observers as reflecting the hardline tone taken against corruption in Nigeria following the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2015.
The tone shift has been accompanied by several high-profile arrests, with the former defence minister Haliru Mohammed Bello charged this week with diverting $1.5m intended to buy arms for soldiers fighting Boko Haram militants.
In December 2015, the former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki was charged with 19 counts of fraud, money laundering and a criminal breach of trust in connection with the siphoning of funds also intended for the fight against Boko Haram.
Government investigations continue into how billions of naira intended for fighting the radical Islamist group have been lost due to money laundering and corruption on the part of high-ranking government officials.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde described the efforts to target corruption as “very ambitious goals that need to be delivered upon” during recent talks with President Buhari.
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