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

By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja

The Senate through its Committee on Public Account is furious following the payment of £36,000 for two page publication in a United Kingdom (UK) magazine without evidence of payment by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Also, the Senate is angry that about N28 million have been spent by NITDA to produce five copies of procurement act for the agency.

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

It was stipulated in the query that the moneies were meant for advertorial but 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 the money was spent for and no evidence of payment was presented before the committee.

The payment was only made to the third party company, it was gathered.
Also, NITDA recommended that it’s officials should print five copies of procurement act at the rate of N98,000, but the agency went ahead to print 300 copies which led to the spending of about N25 million.

The chairman who was visibly angry about the reckless spending of government money, ordered that the money should be paid back to the government coffers.
The query reads: “We observed that the sum of N 11,366,800.00 (£36,200) was paid to a company for 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 noevidence 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

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“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 third party. Payments must be in line with the provibsions 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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