Governors under pressure over security vote spending
The Nigerian Federal Government has implemented new measures to monitor the spending of security votes by state and local governments. The government has prohibited these two tiers from operating security votes with commercial banks and stipulated that governors must open a special account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for this purpose. The measures aim to closely monitor the use of cash and comply with the January directive of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), which halted the withdrawal of cash from public accounts. The NFIU, the CBN, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and governors met virtually to discuss the new plan. The governors are opposed to Federal agencies supervising how they spend funds and may sue the government over the issue. The directive applies to all public entities, and violations will result in severe sanctions and penalties, including fines and imprisonment of up to seven years. Governors who go against the directive will be investigated, but not prosecuted immediately due to the immunity they enjoy.