Anti-corruption group Transparency International said on Monday Nigeria’s government has in the run-up to elections expanded the use of opaque $670 million-a-year funds that fuel graft.
The funds, known as “security votes”, are a relic of military rule, mainly disbursed in hard cash and nominally released for dealing with unexpected security issues.
They come from both federal and state governments, although the vast majority is disbursed under the latter.
According to Transparency International’s report on Monday they have become “synonymous with official corruption and abuse of power”.
The watchdog’s report comes as President Muhammadu Buhari is gearing up to run for a second term in February 2019.
A Nigerian presidency spokesman did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment about the report.
Buhari has built his administration’s policy on the twin pillars of tackling Nigeria’s endemic corruption and restoring stability to the highly insecure country. Hundreds have died this year in communal unrest in the hinterlands and the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast.