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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

NCC refutes reports on N75m toilet budget

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has refuted some media reports that it budgeted the sum of N75 million for the rehabilitation of toilet doors and keys.


 
Head, Media & Public Relations, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, while refuting this allegation, said that the attention of NCC has been drawn to widely reported story in some national dailies of Wednesday, February 8, 2012, titled “Reps Query NCC’s N75 Million Budget for Toilet Doors and Keys” claiming that the House of Representatives Committee on Communications has queried the Commission over a number of items proposed in its 2012 budget.

NCC, he said, was constrained to respond to these reports because of several inaccuracies and misrepresentations of facts contained in them, and a deliberate attempt to impugn on the character and reputation of the Commission for unknown reasons.

“The tone of the reports is contrary to the atmosphere of understanding that pervaded the budget defense by the Commission,” he declared.

Muoka also noted that the sum of N75 Million under reference was for major works which were fully evaluated by the Commission before the budget submission.

“They include repainting of the external walls of the Commissions headquarters building, repairs and repainting of the steel roof structures. This is in addition to a major face lift of the reception areas, waiting room, two-wing canteen facilities with several equipments, provision of directional signs in the 9-Storey edifice of the Commission, in addition to replacement of old and unbefitting toilet doors and locks,” he explained. 

Additionally, he said, there was no query by the Committee on the provision of the sum of N30 Million in the budget for procurement of furniture at the headquarters of the Commission, and four zonal offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Ibadan.

“The N10 Million provision for air conditioners at the headquarters building is for the phased replacement of some air conditioners which have served out their useful life as procurement of new ones is more cost effective than the high cost of maintaining the old ones,” he said.

According to him, the newspaper reports also misconstrued the provision of N89 Million for project vehicles, and N72 Million for Quality of Service monitoring vehicles as duplication.

He said, the information provided in the budget details was explicit, stressing that the project vehicles were operational vehicles for compliance monitoring and surveillance exercises in Port Harcourt, Kano, and Lagos zones; covering all the cities in the respective geopolitical zones while monitoring vehicles are special purpose-built vehicles with equipment for drive tests designed for quality of service monitoring as they  enable set-up tests with minimal vibration and shocks while in motion.

The minute details of each item on the budget proposal for 2012 were available during the budget session at the House of Representatives for any credible report by the media which wished to report the facts.

“The Nigerian Communications Commission is a responsible organization and does not engage in frivolous budgeting as all works and services are carefully evaluated before the budgets are sent to the National Assembly,” he said.

Therefore, he said, the Commission wished to dissociate itself from the content, tone and interpretation in the reports which appeared in the Vanguard, Leadership, Tribune, People’s Daily, and Daily Mirror newspapers with same captions, same contents, same words, yet were written by five different reporters. 

Remmy Nweke

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