Senate C’ttee Queries Five Million Handsets for Rural Women

16 Dec 2012

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Senator Gilbert Nnaji

Chinazor Megbolu

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, has expressed concern over the omission of five million telephone handsets for rural women in the budget proposal of the Ministry of Communications Technology.

Nnaji, who spoke  during the 2013 budget defense session with the Ministry of Communication and allied parastatals at the National Assembly,    warned government agencies that were in the habit of generating revenues without remitting same to national coffers to desist from the practice  or face the full wrath of the law.

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed during his budget proposal presentation in October  that five  million handsets be made available to rural women farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs to boost agro-allied and economic activities at the grassroots.

In a statement sent to THISDAY, the  Media Adviser to the  Committee Chairman, Egbo Mon-Charles,  said that  the minister explained that the project was to be handled by the Universal Service Provision Fund, a sister agency to the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC).

But, according to the statement,  the  committee chairman  had described  the omission  as unacceptable and announced that the committee would look into it immediately.

Also,  the Post-Master General of the Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba,  had during  the budget defense  stated that due to irregular and  insufficient grant from government, Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), had continued to spend the generated revenue in carrying out its programmes and projects.
Following this, Senator Nnaji decried the situation and threatened that  the National Assembly would not hesitate to sanction any defaulting agency in the event that such trend continued.

The Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, presented a budget proposal of N3, 431, 127, 753  which includes a personnel cost of N1, 962, 374, 065; overhead cost of N127, 577, 355; total recurrent and capital respectively N2, 089, 951, 419 and 1, 341, 176, 753.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, Rural Women

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