The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre has called for the active participation of women in the defence and security sector even as it urged tasked stakeholders to engage effectively in improving transparency and accountability within the sector.
In a communique issued by CISLAC/Transparency International in Nigeria, TI-NIGERIA, at the end of a ‘One-Day Workshop on “Reforming the Nigerian Defence and Security Sector through Strengthening Mechanisms Fundamental for Effective Oversight Functions’, in Nasarawa State, observed that the tendency to marginalise women even in the defence and security sector existed.
CISLAC further noted that the Nigeria’s peace, security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are threatened by persistent violent conflicts arising from traditional and non-traditional security threats.
They called on the military to reverse the trend of destabilisation and insecurity, prioritising Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.w
The workshop which was organised with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherland also observed that despite substantial public resources invested in the defence and security sector since the return of democratic governance in 1999, the impact of these investments remains questionable, with ongoing threats to peace and security.
It further noted that factors limiting oversight in the defence and security sector include inadequate funding, lack of capacity, corrupt budgeting and implementation, politicization, negative public image, and overall lack of transparency and accountability.
CISLAC said the primary challenge lies in the sector’s general lack of capacity in fund management, budgeting, implementation, and the sector’s inherent political nature.
It said: “Also, the lack of planning in the budgeting process and implementation contributes to weak civilian control over the defence and security sector”.
According to CISLAC, combating corruption requires addressing welfare concerns and improving the economy to provide security and stability.
“Again, challenges to transparency and accountability in the defence and security sector include the lack of a robust legal framework, limited awareness and capacity, political interference, and resistance to change, among others”.
“Let’s also review the content of defence and security policy to embed a culture of transparency and accountability in the budgeting process”.
They said collaborative efforts are required to combat corruption and ensure transparency and accountability within the defence and security sector.
“Develop an effective framework for overseeing security votes, which often serve as slush funds and encourage Nigerians to hold public institutions, the political class, and the defence and security sector accountable, they stated