In a well-orchestrated corruption scheme, the Ministry of Defence has budgeted $510,110 instead of $13,631.49 for Nigeria’s contribution to the United Nations 2020 Biological Weapons Convention.
SaharaReporters had previously exposed how the Defence Ministry budgeted and received $1.3m for the payment of the United Nations 2019 Biological Weapons Convention instead of the $3,197 the country was billed.
The money was for the cost of the meeting centred on the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons and on their destruction (BWC).
In this latest corruption unearthed at the Ministry of Defence, it was discovered that the fund was inserted into the 2020 budget of the Ministry of Defence Headquarters with code ERGP14138154.
The budget had been a means of legalising embezzling of funds by different ministries and agencies.
In what had been another means of siphoning and embezzling public funds by the Defence Headquarters, the ministry took over the payment of the annual BWC from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in 2019.
When converted to naira, N183,639,796 was budgeted by the Defence Ministry instead of the N4,907,336.4 the country was asked to pay.
In a document from the UN seen by SaharaReporters, as at January 1, 2020, Nigeria was billed to contribute $3,992.59 for BWC, $4,514.11 for Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), $1,459.19 for Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and $3,665.60 for Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC).
However, when demanding the 2020 contribution from the country, the Defence Ministry added $496,479 to the original lumped contribution of $13,631.
The document also showed that despite fraudulently receiving $1.3m from the country in 2019, the Defence Ministry did not clear outstanding debts of the country to the UN BWC, CCW, CCM, and APLC convention.
Nigeria has an outstanding of $500, $2,348, $1,459 and $945 to the annual BWC, CCM, CCW and APLC contribution respectively.
Commenting on the grand corruption perpetrated by the Defence Ministry, a source privy to the scandal, who spoke with SaharaReporters, questioned why the Defence Ministry inserted the payment of BWC into its budget.
“Biological Weapons Convention is not under the Ministry of Defence or Military Headquarters, it is under the Office of the Secretary General of the Federation.
“On what pretext is the military claiming that and doesn’t the National Assembly and other relevant bodies request to see the supporting letters from the international organisation to verify the claims of Nigerian ministries or agencies before they approve budgets and subsequent payments.
“This is another height of indecent and wicked corruption that any institution can practice on its government and people.”