Senate Furious As NITDA Spent £36,200 To Feature In UK Magazine


The upper chamber of the National Assembly has expressed anger following the payment of £36,000 for a two-page interview in a United Kingdom magazine without evidence of payment by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Senate Furious As NITDA Spent £36,200 To Feature In UK Magazine
File Photo: Floor of the Senate

The Senate was also furious with the agency for spending N28 million to produce five copies of the Procurement Act.

The shocking revelation was contained in the 2016 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation being considered by the Senate Committee on Public Account, Chaired by Senator Mathew Urhogbide.

Although in the query, it was stipulated that the money was meant for an advertorial, when the paper was presented before the Committee by the Officials of NITDA, it was a two-page interview in the United Kingdom-based magazine and no evidence of payment of that amount was presented before the committee.

Also on the printing of the NITDA procurement Act, it was recommended that five copies should be printed at the rate of N98,000, but the agency went ahead to print 300 copies which led to the wasting of about N25 million.

The Chairman, who was visibly angry about the reckless spending of government money, ordered repayment of the money back to the government coffee.

The query reads: “We observed that the sum of N11,366,800.00 (£36,200) was paid to a company for an advertorial to Business Year Nigeria 2015 Yearbook. The payment was marred with the following irregularities: Payment was made to a third-party company, instead of directly to who made the request; the payment was not subjected to both Withholding and Value Added Tax as required by law; authorization letter of 12th February 2015 from The Business Year to pay the third-party company was not signed and as such has no legal backing for its implementation; there was no evidence that the exchange rate was used to convert the money from Pounds to Naira emanated from Central Bank of Nigeria; Award letter was not produced for examination.

“This infraction was due to the failure of the Director-General to strictly comply with the provision of extant laws and regulations, especially as it relates to issues bordering on the Procurement Act.

“Under no circumstances should the payment for the supply of goods or services be made to a third party. Payments must be in line with the provisions in the contract agreement and E-Payment principles.

“We recommend that the Director-General be made to account for the infractions and sanctioned.”

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