Nigeria: Group Seeks Answers Over 2.3 Billion USD Allocated To Digital Switchover
The Nigerian government has reportedly paid Digital Switchover (DSO) stakeholders a whopping 2.3 billion USD. And now, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is asking the government to release details to the public on how USD 2.3 billion allocated to DSO stakeholders was used.
Mohammed said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had cleared the sum of 2.3 billion USD as outstanding payment to major DSO stakeholders during the launch of a 13–member Ministerial Task Force on Digital Switchover (DSO) in March 2021.
In the letter signed by CSNAS Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju and titled "Request for information on the 2.3 billion USD approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOI ACT 2011)". The federation is requested to make information on how funds were expanded publicly available. This based on an allegation that the 2.3 billion USD was given to a private company as a grant, leading to the suspension of a former Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The anti-corruption coalition is making this request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2021 following Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011. The coalition, which has 140 members affiliated across Nigeria, has given the federation seven days to respond to its request, noting that the information ministry must avoid charges in the court of law by submitting on time; CSNAS Chairman, Suraju added.
The proposal is to the overall interest of the public for transparency and accountability in public administration. According to Suraj, "Nigerians have the right to know the allocation of the funds."