In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari emerged victorious in the 2015 general election with a promise to end the insurgency threatening Nigeria in the Northeast.
Since his emergence, insecurity has spread to other parts of the country, other than the Northeast. Lately, the activities of bandits in the Northwest and parts of North Central have intensified. The southeast is grappling with unknown gunmen, while kidnapping has been raging across the country, particularly, mass abduction in schools and communities.
It is against this background that the administration has been throwing money into security at the expense of other sectors begging for attention.
The President is proposing to spend N2.41 trillion on security and defence as contained in the proposed 2022 budget estimate, a whopping 15% of the entire budget of the federation.
This huge spending has characterised Buhari’s administration. In this piece, Tribunepoint Weekly reviews the security spending under Mr Buhari and the resultant impact on security in the country.
President Buhari has taken the budget from N4.6 trillion, which was the last budget by Goodluck Jonathan to N16.34 trillion being proposed in 2022, which means, the budget has increased by about N12 trillion within seven fiscal cycles.
More money for guns, less money for schools, hospitals
The N2.41 trillion to security and defence is more than the entire allocations to education and health.
The entire budget for education in the 2022 budget is N1.290 trillion. Out which N875.93bn is for Ministry of education, all universities, all polytechnics, all colleges of education, unity schools and other federal owned schools. While the Universal Basic Education fund will get N108 billion and TETFund will get N306 billion for infrastructure in tertiary education. All these funds are less than half allocated to defence and security.
Even health could only get 5% of the entire budget. The entire federal allocation to health is N811.2 billion, including funding for vaccines and basic healthcare trust funds.
Statistically, the 7% allocation to education and 5% allocation to health, put together, is less than the 15% allocated to security.
Timeline of the defence budget
This spending pattern has characterised the administration of Mr Buhari, a brief review of the security budgets from 2016 shows the progression from N1 trillion security budget to the present N2.4 trillion in 2022.
The first budget for the ministry of defence under Buhari’s administration was N443.1 billion in 2022, the total budget for the same Ministry is N1.112 trillion Naira, that’s a total difference of over N700 billion in less than 7 years.
The entire sum on security in the 2016 budget was N1.04 trillion, now it is N2.4trillion.
In 2017, N1.053 trillion was appropriated for defence-related expenditure. The Ministry of defence was allocated N330.54 billion and N139.29 billion for capital and recurrent expenditure.
In 2018, over N1.305 trillion was allocated to the defence-related sector. In that same year, President Buhari also authorized the withdrawal of $1 billion from the excess crude oil account. Of which, $496 million was used to order for the 12 Tucano fighter jet.
By 2019, the allocation to security jumped to N1.76 trillion. The breakdown is as follow: Interior; N617.9 billion, defence; N589.9 billion, police; N366 billion, operation Lafiya Dole N75 billion, and Office of the National Security Adviser, N120 billion.
2020 and 2021
The allocation to the security sector increased a little bit to N1.78 trillion in 2020, while the allocation to security-related agencies was N1.97 trillion in 2021.
Also, the implementation of the Police Trust Fund commenced in 2021, in March, N11 billion was approved for the fund and another N74 billion was approved in June.
Furthermore, in the 2021 supplementary budget, a total of N802 billion was allocated to security agencies to shore up their revenue.
In the past 7 budget cycles under President Buhari, about N12 trillion has been allocated to the security sector based on analysis by Tribunepoint Weekly. Meanwhile, majority of Nigerians believe that the country has since 2015 continued to experience worsening insecurity, against Mr President’s promise of a better and stable Nigeria before his victory in 2015.