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Security Challenges and Security Votes in Nigeria ( 2008 - 2013 )

Nigeria has joined the league of countries that are known to spend a good chunk of theirbudgetary allocation on security. As a result of these challenges, Nigerian leaders havedecided to tackle them by raising her defence and security votes. Nigeria ranks 57 in theglobal rating on military expenditure. It occupies the seventh position in African while itis regarded as the largest spender in the West African sub-region. The ranking was basedon Nigeria’s military expenditure in 2009, which also made her the seventh largestspender on the African continent. The country spent $1.864 billion or N233 billion in2009, representing 0.90 percent of the Gross Development Production (GDP). Defence isa critical sector and has enjoyed favourable consideration in funding, especially in recentyears. For instance, the sector got N264 billion in 2010 and this rose to N348 billion in2011 budget. Unlike other sectors of the economy, military expenditure in Nigeria hasgone up by over 50 percent compared to other sectors in recent times. It is anybody’sguess why budget allocations in key ministries and agencies especially security anddefence has continued to get the lion’s share in the last few years. But analysts howeverwager that the rising budget spending for security over the years could have beeninfluenced by a constellation of forces. For instance, in 2008, the policy thrusts of thebudget as presented by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to the legislature onNovember 8, 2007, was supposedly reflected in “N444.6 billion for security and theNiger Delta.” It would appear that the mega figure was aimed at political correctness andpossibly intended to show new commitment heights for security and the developmentneeds of the Niger Delta. Apparently justifying the need for the bogus budget, analysts atthe time said perhaps, it was also intended to signal to the international community thatNigeria is sparing no expenditure in ensuring peaceful co-existence among the citizenryand the interest of the businesses. The paper concludes that despite rising budgetallocations for defence and security in the last five years Nigerians have not receivedvalue for their money.Keywords: Security Votes, Insecurity, Human Needs Theory, Security Challenges andBudget.