The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a civil society organisation has said President Muhammadu Buhari is condoning corrupt activities in his administration and his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The CDD made the claim in its five-year assessment of the Buhari administration, which was published on its site on Thursday.
The Buhari administration clocked its first year of its second-term and five years of governance overall.
According to Idayat Hassan, CDD Director, the report is a culmination of data-driven analysis of the milestones and shortcomings of the President’s anti-corruption drive.
The civil society group said while the president has been able to implement a few key financial management reforms and empower the anti-graft agencies, he has, however, turned a blind eye to the alleged wrongdoings activities of some of his aides, as well as members of the APC.
The report read: “In the first place, the five-year assessment situates anti-corruption as a signature issue around which President Buhari has built a personal political brand, making it the major plank on which he won the historic election of 2015,” the organisation said.
“In the area of achievements, the assessment makes the point about how the Buhari administration has worked to elevate the fight against corruption by placing as its top national policy priority. It further notes the empowerment of anti-corruption agencies, and the Buhari administration’s effort to free them up to pursue far-reaching investigations into political and bureaucratic corruption.
“The assessment equally notes that the President pushed through a few key financial management reforms, which have been critical in preventing opportunities for corruption to thrive. One of such reforms is the mandatory use of the Treasury Single Account, which has ended the lax and opaque system wherein government monies sat in disparate accounts, which made proper oversight impossible.
“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 CDD said the Buhari administration has also failed to tackle defence and security corruption, particularly “on the vexed issue of opaque use of security votes”.
“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,” the report read.
The report also claimed that the country under President Buhari is witnessing declining fiscal transparency, especially by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and is struggling to implement the required reforms in the petroleum sector.