Probe the botched ICT Hub project and other alleged impunity – Group tells DG of NITDA

An Abuja pro-good governance advocacy group, League and Partners for good leadership has appealed to the current Director General of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency NITDA Dr. Isah Ali Pantami to probe the botched ICT Hub project conceptualized to be first established in 72 Local Government Areas with thematic objective of training rural people on ICT related professions.

The group, through its National Coordinator Oliver Azubuike Uche referred to the bungled project as a worthwhile project that would have better the lots of the teeming Nigeria youths but which ended up sprucing the pockets of very few.  The National Coordinator affirmed that time has come to activate those pro-peoples policies and projects that were botched on grounds of selfishness, impunity and perennial corruption that bedeviled the country.

“The time to rediscover Nigeria is now.  The time to prioritize projects and policies that directly affect the lives of ordinary Nigerians, especially the youths is now.  It’s most disheartening that a project that would have constructively and meaningfully engaged the youths in rural areas being the flash points of restiveness went without attempt at executing it after voting hundreds of millions for the project.  If information at our disposal is anything to go by, we appeal to the current Director General of NITDA Dr. Isah Ali Pantami to unravel why a project meant to commence in 72 local governments failed after money was reportedly voted for the project.  The project we learnt was only executed in 3 LGAs out of the initial 72 LGAs mapped out for the first phase”

The group as well demanded that the current DG of NITDA probes an alleged N5b contract awarded in 2015 without due process as no public announcement was made for the bidding neither was the Bureau of Public Procurement invited to supervise the bidding processes. This is aside alleged N1.5bllion Personnel Budget.  The group affirms that information at its disposal revealed that of the N1.5billion Personnel Budget in 2015, only N800m was expended and the rest pocketed by Dr. Vincent Olatunji’s led management.

“There are anomalies that need to be corrected if the nation’s economy must be hauled back on track.  Such include ensuring that strategic organizations like NITDA are positioned to realize the dream of a robust ICT Nigeria where the youths could be meaningfully engaged and productively occupied.  A situation where monies meant for human and material development in an agency is channeled towards pursuing personal ambitions can never be tolerated again”.

The group threatened to take the case further by writing to the National Assembly and other Civil Society Organisations to demand for public inquest on financial records of the Agency should the current DG and the Anti-Corruption Agencies fail to bring those found culpable to book.

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