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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

USPF investigates missing 100 PCs in Edo State

The management of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) Nigeria has commenced investigation into how 100 Personal Computers (PCs) among other infrastructure got missing in Edo State.

Officials of USPF who asked for anonymity confirmed this at the weekend.
It was also gathered that all the components that went to one of the schools in Edo State could not be traced after several months of delivery to relevant authorities in the localities.

According to our sources, the missing components comprised of 100 unit Classmate Personal Computers (PCs), one unit of server and Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), two units of laptops and printers as well as one 5-KVA generating set.

Others are a piece of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) equipment with indoor and outdoor equipment meant to facilitate wireless connectivity for the school.

Although ITRealms Online could not confirm the exact school involved as at time of filing this report, but our sources were emphatic that the PCs got missing soon after the delivery in Edo State.

This, our sources said has hampered the deployment of relevant equipment to the concerned school and for the students to start benefitting from the project.

Also, this ITRealms Online learnt may affect future deployment in the state.
For now, our sources said, the report has been made to the relevant security agencies to assist in fishing out those facilities and those behind them.

“It sounds strange, but it’s true and very disheartening,” one of our sources declared, promising that USPF is not going to sleep over the matter, but would see to its logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, a total of 377 schools nationwide have been earmarked to benefit from the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) educational intervention initiative in the 2009 fiscal year, even as 506 others have either benefitted in the exercise or on-going.

The concept of USPF, ITRealms Online recalls, is in line with the Nigerian Communications Act of 2003, Section 112, which requires the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to “design, consider and determine a system which shall promote the widespread availability and usage of network services and applications services throughout Nigeria by encouraging the installation of network facilities and the provision for network services and application services to institutions and in unserved, underserved areas or for underserved groups within the community.”

In addition, the mandate of USPF includes to create an enabling environment by raising public awareness on the uses and benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs), building capacity among communities to participate in and take advantage of the economic opportunities in ICT.

The agency equally has the mandate to contribute to national economic and social development through enhancing the universal accessibility and availability of telecommunications and ICT infrastructure as well as services among others.

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