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NDIC, FIRS to Spend N8.7Bn on Software Acquisition in 2024

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are planning to spend a combined sum of N8.7 billion on software alone this year.

This spending is captured in the government-owned enterprises (GOEs) budget for 2024 released by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. While most of the GOEs plan to acquire software this year, the NDIC and FIRS are spending the biggest amount on this item.

Specifically, NDIC leads all other agencies of the government in terms of money allocated for software this year. The Corporation is to spend N5.2 billion on this item, according to the budget plan.  FIRS is also planning to acquire software with the sum of N3.5 billion and it is the second-biggest spender among the GOEs.

Also top among the biggest spenders on software this year is the Nigeria Immigration Service, which plans to acquire the software with N874.5 million.  The Service, which is in charge of the production of the Nigerian International Passport, is planning to upgrade its automated platform for passport acquisition to enable Nigerians to complete the entire process online without visiting its offices for capturing.

Similarly, the National Pension Commission (NPC), as well as the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), have also budgeted N384 million and N255 million respectively for software acquisition this year.

Several stakeholders in the Nigerian ICT industry have expressed concerns over the annual practice of budgeting billions for software by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government without commensurate improvement in their services to the people.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) also confirmed this worry recently, noting that billions of naira are being pushed by MDAs through IT projects because they are too technical to be scrutinized by the National Assembly during the budget defense.

NITDA, however, said it is tackling this problem through its IT projects clearance system, which mandates all MDAs to present their IT projects for clearance before the fund is committed to it. Justifying the need for all MDAs to go through its clearance for their IT projects,

NITDA said: “The realization that over the years, the public funds that were spent on IT Projects were not commensurate with the value derived from such Projects and had also failed to evolve a digitally-enabled public service that will advance the citizens’ yearnings of the digital economy, hence the need to strategically reposition the deployment of IT Products and Services in Public Institutions.

“It is therefore imperative to ensure that maximum value is derived from such huge investment of public funds, especially at a time when the need for accountability, transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness is eminent.”


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Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

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At least N87 million bribes were paid to Nigerian public and private officials in 2023, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

NBS data also indicated that of all Nigerian citizens who had at least one contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the 2023 survey, 27 per cent paid a bribe to a public official.

According to the Bureau, Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption effort has been declining over time and across regions.

“While in 2019, more than half of all citizens thought that the government was effective in fighting corruption, in 2023, the share declined to less than a third of all citizens.

“The downward trend in the citizens’ confidence is observable across the entire country, with all six zones recording reductions of more than 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2023 in terms of the share of citizens who thought the government was effective in fighting corruption,” it stated.


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12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture has significantly expanded its educational initiatives by inducting 27 Nigerian academics and research interns.

12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

A cross section of participants in the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture’s 2024 sabbatical and research programme in a group photograph with the leadership of SPDC’s Corporate Relations team at the induction ceremony held in Port Harcourt…recently.

This year’s programme, a 35% increase from the previous year, welcomed eight professors, four senior lecturers, and 15 other participants.

Held at the company’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the induction ceremony marked the beginning of a one-year programme focused on knowledge exchange and skill development.

Drawn from 13 Nigerian universities, these participants will gain valuable industry experience in fields like biodiversity, petroleum engineering, and environmental impact assessment.

“The research and internship programmes are central to our commitment to supporting higher education in Nigeria,” explained Mr. Igo Weli, Shell Nigeria’s Head of Corporate Relations, and SPDC Director.

He described the programme as mutually beneficial nature by offering Shell access to specialised expertise from professors and lecturers, who in turn acquire practical industry knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.

Despite operational challenges, Mr. Weli reaffirmed Shell’s position as the industry leader in fostering a positive learning environment and empowering people.

Representing Mrs. Bunmi Edith Lawson, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, echoed Mr. Weli’s sentiments. She highlighted the programme’s significance in scientific exploration, environmental stewardship, and knowledge advancement.

“This is an investment in the next generation of innovators,” she stated, “and a way for us to give back to our stakeholders.”

The 2024 programme includes participants from a diverse range of universities across Nigeria, including the University of Benin, Rivers State University, University of Ibadan, Niger Delta University, and Ahmadu Bello University.

Others are Bingham University Karu, Federal University Wukari, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Covenant University, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, University of Uyo, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

 

 


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Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

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Saleh Mamman, former minister of Power, who was charged for a N33 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been granted bail.

Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

During a sitting on Friday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Mamman was granted N10 billion billion with two sureties in like sum.

Issuing the verdict, James Omotosho, chief judge, held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the Federal Capital Territory with a minimum valuation of N750 million.

The judge stated that the sureties must swear an affidavit of means and submit their three-year tax clearance certificates, adding that certified copies of the defendant and sureties’ bank statements and their most recent passport photograph must also be submitted.

In addition, the judge directed the defendant to turn in his international passport to the court’s registrar, stating that the registrar must confirm every document before the defendant is allowed to leave custody.

The court further ordered that the defendant be held in jail until all bail requirements were fulfilled and that the sureties could provide a bank guarantee or bond of N10 billion. The case has been adjourned until September 25, 2024.

On Thursday, July 11, the judge ordered the remand of the former minister at the Kuje Prison after his not-guilty plea to all the 12-count charges preferred against him. His lawyer, Femi Ate, a senior advocate, however, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of his client.

Although the judge stated the bail application had not yet made it into the court file, the lawyer representing the EFCC, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, also a senior advocate, admitted that the application had been received.

Meanwhile, the defendant had collapsed outside the courtroom before the hearing on Thursday but was revived with the help of his lawyers and some medical personnel at the court.

 


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