NCC Denies Releasing N300m Subvention to NITDA

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Emma Okonji in Lagos

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) saturday disputed a claim that it released a sum of N300 million to the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as subvention.

The commission denied the report in a statement by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, noting that the information contained in the publication was a mere falsehood.

The statement said in order to put the records straight, no agency of the federal government was empowered under laws to give subvention to another agency as by extant laws of the government.

It added that every agency “makes its budget and gets approval for appropriation from the National Assembly and such budgets are spent according to the appropriation of the National Assembly.

“Our budget doe not contain any allocation for subvention, let alone granting same to a sister agency established by law. We cannot create a provision in our budget for another agency to implement.

“Subventions to all agencies are done by the federal government with resources domiciled in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). Even salaries to Ministries Department and Agencies (MDA) come from there.”

The statement said NITDA, as an agency of government, prepared its own budget and spent same “to execute its own programmes as it deems fit.

“Since the advent of the new administration, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has always encouraged a working relationship and close synergy between all the parastatals under the purview of the ministry and not cross-funding of any of the parastatals.

“The minister has also facilitated support at the highest levels of government to programmes and activities of the commission especially in facilitating meetings with the Nigeria Governors Forum on issues of right of way for expanding the telecommunications infrastructure and declaring telecommunications infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI).”

He, therefore, said: “We did not receive any directive from Pantami on funding any activity of NITDA and no approval was given in that regard.

“Whoever thinks so, simply threw caution to the wind by rolling up speculative information that we know nothing about let alone implementing.

The statement further disclosed that the NCC was “not in any partnership with NITDA to warrant any subvention for capacity building let alone implementing one, insisting that NCC did not at any time, release money to NITDA as subvention.”