Despite repeated purchase, the annual ritual of budgeting billions of naira for computers continues as 26 Government Owned Enterprise (GOE) to spend N12.2 billion to purchase computers in 2024.
The purchase of computers has become a regular feature in the annual budget template of these agencies, wherein they vote hundreds of million.
These provisions have attracted concerns by Nigeria’s ICT stakeholders that this aspect of the budget by MDAs constitutes a major channel of siphoning public funds as the bulk amount budgeted by a few entities would have been sufficient to provide for an average computer needs for all MDAs.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) recently acknowledged the loopholes this kind of budgeting creates, and noted that billions of naira are being pushed by MDAs through Information IT projects because they are too technical to be scrutinised by the National Assembly during the budget defence.
For instance, Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance were alarmed over the disclosure by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to procure unspecified computer equipment for N2 billion in 2023.
In 2024, NERC has earmarked N100 million for another round of the purchase of computers.
The biggest of the provision was made by the federal inland Revenue service with N4.5bn. This is followed by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), with N2.4billion and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, N1.1 billion.
The National Pension Commission will spend N540 million. Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), N450million, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) N401 million, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) N400 million, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria N320m.
National Agency for Food & Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC) N296m, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) N130m, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) N109m, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) N93m.