Lawmakers berate FG for abandoning ICT budget
Senate Committee on Communications, on Wednesday, faulted the action of the Federal Government in abandoning the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project in tertiary institutions across the country.
The Federal Government was said to have argued that it would be difficult to carry on with the initiative as it would add to the burden of sustaining the already existing tertiary institutions in the country.
But the Chairman of the committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, expressed dissatisfaction that despite series of budgetary approvals and huge investments towards that project, federal government would just abandon it on flimsy excuses.Nnaji made the remarks during the budget defense session by the Ministry of Communications Technology and its parastatals at the National Assembly.
The lawmaker frowned at the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to abandon the project, saying “it is totally unacceptable to us as a committee and by extension, the Senate of the Federal Republic, that after all the funds appropriated and infrastructures put in place across the country, including one in my constituency, FEC, will just say that because it will add to the burden of the government in education sector, therefore that the idea should just die like that.
“This amounts to wastage of tax payers money and taking Nigeria backwards in the area of ICT, technology education and job creation.”He further affirmed that poor implementation of budget has been increasing poverty and hunger in the country.
“Relying on the strength of information forwarded to the committee by the ministry as at the last quarter of 2017, the same story of insufficient funding was prevalent just as it obtained in the previous fiscal years,” he added.
Describing the situation as worrisome, the committee questioned the justification for the introduction of new projects in 2018 as it noted that out of 97 capital projects approved and appropriated in 2017, just a few were successfully completed while a larger percentage was either not funded or executed at all.
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