The Nigeria Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy under the supervision of Mr. Isah Pantami has awarded the construction of a mini hall at the sum of N55.9 million.
Mr. Mohammed Sani Musa, Niger State lawmaker in the Senate while trying to exonerate himself from the highly inflated constituency project exposed a letter showing how Pantami’s ministry awarded the construction of a mini ICT hall for N55.9 million to Messrs West Field Global Construction Limited.
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.
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.
In an effort to further prove his innocence, he published a letter from the Ministry of communication that awarded the construction of a mini hall for the sum of N55.9 million.
Worse still, check by MAWA FOUNDATION shows that the Niger lawmaker and the communication ministry 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 and communication ministry say the sum of N55.9 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.
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.