Mr. Mohammed Sani Musa, Niger State lawmaker in the Senate has admitted he constructed a mini ICT for N56 million as a constituency project.
Musa’s admittance came while reacting to Tracka exposure that he had in 2020 nominated building ICT centre for youth, Girl-Child education in Paiko community area of Niger State for the sum of N125 million. An ICT centre that was designed to be equipped with laptop computers according to the master plan.
The Niger state lawmaker while debunking Tracka’s claim said “to also clear the air, the money allocated for this project is N56 million and not N125 million as implied. The project is also under the Ministry of Communication and not NITDA. The Ministry has supervised and certified the work done so far”.
“In the future, please endeavour to reach out directly to my office for accurate and reliable information before misinforming the public, together we can eliminate falsehood and manipulation of information” Musa added.
He, however, published a letter of the project contract award.
Check by MAWA FOUNDATION shows that the Niger lawmaker and National Information Technology Development Agency may have shortchanged the people. Mr. Idris Kenaan, a civil engineer told MAWA N10 million is too much amount to build the ICT centre and that includes payment for labour and consultancy fees.
Mr. David Ifeanyi, a computer engineer and ICT expert, who had handled contracts of equipping ICT centres, told MAWA, with N5 million, you can supply all computers, equipment and internet access needed to operate the centre.
Still, the Niger state lawmaker says the sum of N56 million has been expended on his constituency mini ICT centre.
Some of Nigerians who reacted to the lawmaker’s admittance of spending N56 million on the ICT had since requested he provides a breakdown of how the money was spent, a request he has since refused to address.
This is even as the lawmaker did not give a further response when Tracka confronted him with the N125 million been figured of the project as approved by the National Assembly.
MAWA FOUNDATION had on Friday, reported how Mr. Musa, a federal lawmaker in the senate representing the people of Niger East Senatorial District in the Senate, had in 2020 nominated building of ICT centre for youth, Girl-Child education in Paiko community area of Niger State. The ICT according to the master plan was designed to be equipped with laptop computers.
Tracka officials who visited the project for an evaluation said it has been completed, however, the officials disclosed that equipping the facilities with computers which is the cardinal part of the project was not done, while the facility remains dirty and abandoned.
Mr. Ahmed, a community resident while speaking on the project, said it was completed months ago, and, since then nothing has been done and computers not supplied.
It is not, however, clear how the Niger lawmaker and National Information Technology Development Agency arrived at building a single mini ICT centre for N56 million.
Constituency projects are nominated by the lawmakers for the needs of their constituents and recommend same to the executive during budgeting; this will help to improve the living condition of the people in their constituents through building local infrastructures.
However, Nigerian experience has shown that Federal Lawmakers do not execute constituency projects as they appear in the national budget, and getting them to account for monies approved for such intervention is always difficult.
And, often community residents are not aware such monies have been given to their representatives, and that makes accountability very difficult.
N125m was allocated in the 2020 FG budget for capacity building in ICT for youths, Girl-Child education/Provision of laptops in Niger East Sen.District, Niger State.
We tracked and report that the Laptops are yet to be supplied and facility under LOCK and KEY pic.twitter.com/D2gULXX8Gd
— TrackaNG (@TrackaNG) May 7, 2021