Funds ‘must better lives’
GOVERNMENTBy BiztechAfrica - Oct. 10, 2012, 7:43 a.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria’s House of Representatives Communications Committee says funds allocated in the Appropriation Act must be spent well to better the life of the citizens.
The Committee therefore seeks for judicious use of budgetary allocations to government agencies, ministries and departments (MDAs) in the country, arguing that it could help address issues like frightening unemployment rate in the country.
Honourable Oyetunde Ojo, chairman of the committee who led other members to the Lagos Campus of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Oshodi, said during an inspection of ongoing projects of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), that as representatives of the people, elected by the people, it is just appropriate that members see what the funds appropriated in the budget are used for.
The property housing the Lagos DBI campus used to be owned by former state-run but now moribund Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) but had over the years been neglected before the NCC acquired the property from the government and paid for it.
“The National Assembly appropriates the funds. We must see what the appropriated funds have been used for because at the end of the day, Nigerians will hold us accountable. Apart from being a knowledge-based institution, it is also going to take care of job creation. You can imagine how many people will be employed when it is completed. That is always our agitation with the House (with the executive over budget implementation),” the chairman said.
According to him, though the project started before the passage of 2012 appropriation bill, a total sum of N51 billion was approved for the NCC in year 2012 budget.
“This project started before the 2012 budget. N51 billion was appropriated in the 2012 budget, but not for this job alone. The NCC has other things like the payment of salaries and (execution) of other projects like the emergency communication centres that they are doing across the country which will have fire service equipment and ambulances,” he said, adding that the world is in the information technology age and Nigeria cannot sit back.
On his impression about the level of work done in the institute, he said the committee members are completely satisfied with what they saw on ground. “We are satisfied with what I have seen. I used to know this place before now because my constituency is not far from this area. This is a good transformation. May be it was because we have to push them to do this, but being here and seeing what is on ground, it is highly commendable,” Honourable Ojo said.
He said the committee had also realised that the direction the world was moving now is the digital direction, adding that ICT training was also very important. “If you go to the US, once you have a SIM (subscriber identity module) card, you automatically have broadband facility which means you have internet facility. That is the level we are going and that is why we said they should train their staff to meet up with the digital age,” he said.
Tony Ojobo, director, Public Affairs at the NCC, said the project would be completed on schedule and assured that fresh students would be admitted into the school by the next academic session. Ojobo added that the institute had, since inception, served as the training hub for top civil servants in the federal ministries, adding that state governments have also tapped into the knowledge pool of the institute.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Nigeria launches local content guidelinesNigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology has unveiled new local content guidelines for the Nigerian ICT sector. Read More
East Africa moves towards single currencyLeaders meeting at the 15th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State in Kampala, Uganda, have moved a step closer to a single currency for the EAC. Read More
Malawi govt wary of digital migration deadlineThe Government of Malawi has said it is wary of fulfilling its plans to migrate to digital by December 31. Read More
CCK unveils next 5-year roadmapKenya’s regulator has released its third strategic plan for Kenya’s ICT sector, aiming to turn the CCK into a facilitator of change. Read More
ITU: Broadcasting key for comms in emergenciesITU is finalising a report to highlight role of terrestrial radio and TV in disseminating critical information in emergencies. Read More
Ghana, SA sign cooperation agreementsGhana and South Africa have signed Memoranda of Understanding as part of President Jacob Zuma's three-day state visit to Ghana. Read More
Ethiopia approves 3 new solar projectsEthiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has approved a 300 Megawatt solar project in partnership with two US firms. Read More
NCC to auction spectrumThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced it will auction one frequency license in the 2.3 GHz band. Read More
Nigeria grows subscribers to 121mNigeria’s mobile phone subscriber base has grown to 121 million, with internet user numbers up to 48 million. Read More
FEATURED STORYGaming app introduces investors to trading
A new virtual stock market app is equipping would-be investors with the skills they need to trade.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHText messaging makes mama mbogas’ lives easier
Innovative students have initiated a programme using text messaging, to aggregate demand and save money for Nairobi’s ‘mama mboga’ vegetable sellers.