- The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has written to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, demanding explanations for the N24.2 billion airport internet project.
- Among others, HEDA is seeking to know if the said project was covered in the approved 2023 budget and the specific budget line it falls under.
- The Minister announced the approval of the project by the Federal Executive Council in March of this year.
A civil society group, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), has written to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, demanding explanations for the recently announced N24.2 billion internet facility project at the nation’s airports.
In a letter signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, and sent to Prof. Isa Pantami, the group requested clarification on the procurement process that led the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to approve the allocation of N24.2 billion to the project.
Among others, HEDA is seeking to know if the said project was covered in the approved 2023 budget and the specific budget line it falls under. The group is also seeking to understand whether the project requested information on the approved contractors responsible for implementing the contracts, including their identities and the terms of the contract.
In the letter, HEDA recalled that the information on the allocation of funds was disclosed by the minister and reported in the news on March 29, 2023. HEDA cited Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act of 2011 in requesting detailed information about the procurement process leading to the FEC’s approval.
The civil society group said that it looks forward to receiving the requested information within seven days of receipt of its letter. The organisation expressed its willingness to provide further clarification if necessary.
In March this year, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Pantam, announced that the government was set to spend N24.2 billion on the provision of Internet facilities at 20 airports, some institutions of learning, and markets across the country. He said the amount had been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He, however, did not state whether the project was already budgeted for in the 2023 Appropriation Act or where the money would come from.
According to the Minister, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will spearhead the provision of Internet facilities at the designated airports and institutions.
- “The Federal Executive Council has approved two memos for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), a parastatal under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. In these memos, certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the NCC.
- “Internet will be provided in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning as well as some markets to support micro, small, and medium enterprises.
- “A contract was awarded for the provision of broadband in some selected airports. 20 of them are going to be covered in the first phase of the project. You have three airports in each geopolitical zone.
- “In the south-west, you have two in Lagos State, one in Ondo State; South-East you have Imo, Anambra and Enugu States that will benefit; Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States for South-South. North Central has the Federal Capital Territory and Kwara States; Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi States will benefit from the North-West, while Borno, Adamawa, and Gombe States will benefit from the North-East Region,” the Minister said while briefing newsmen after a FEC meeting on March 29, 2023.
According to him, the broadband internet will be provided for free for use by passengers coming to the airports, adding that a sustainability model has been developed for effective maintenance of the facilities. He also announced that 43 higher education institutions would be linked to the Internet facility.
This is attempt to siphone Nigeria money, over inflated proposal. (Last minute ajẹbanu) why now when it remains few days to leave the office.
There should be no financial commitment at all, the project should be left for the incoming government to execute or reject.