Monday, December 6, 2021

NITDA denies receiving N1bn project fund from NCC

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has refuted social media claims that it had received the sum of N1bn from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.

Recall that on Friday, SaharaReporters newspaper had published an article claiming that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami, had directed the NCC to release the said amount as the fund for a digital learning scheme project.

However, in a swift reaction, the Agency through a statement, described the report as “manufactured and malicious facts to malign the personality of the Honourable Minister, the Director-General of NITDA and the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC”.

“For the avoidance of doubt, NITDA is not promoting and has never promoted any program with the title “Digital Learning Scheme” and has therefore never received any sum from the NCC for this phantom project or any other project.

“We also wish to state publicly and unequivocally that NITDA, as all other Federal Public Institutions, has a strict budgeting and accounting process that is reviewed by the oversight committees of the National Assembly.

“NITDA operates the Treasury Single Account (TSA), primarily designed to enthrone centralised, transparent and accountable revenue management. All NITDA’s expenditures go through the rigorous auditing process as required by law under the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

“Therefore, if any anomaly such as alleged in this dubious piece published by Sahara Reporters is flagged by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, NITDA and NCC would have been indicted by the Auditor General,” the statement read in part.

The agency, therefore, called on the general public to feel free and to utilize the Freedom of Information Act and seek to know the truth on any transaction or records of NITDA.

“The author and publishers are therefore given seven (7) days to withdraw this libelous and malicious publication as well as publicly apologize.

“Failing to do so, the Agency will not hesitate to explore all legal options to bring them before the law and to seek redress for this libelous and malicious publication,” the statement stressed.

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