SGF faces criticisms from experts over N65 million spent on website

SGF faces criticisms from experts over N65 million spent on website

- The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has come under fire after spending N65 million on its website

- It appears that the website was included as part of the ‘capital projects’ highlighted by the current SGF Boss Mustapha; but the cost and execution of the project has raised eyebrows

- Technology experts who reviewed the site have stated that it is impossible for such an amount to have been spent on that kind of website

The sum of N65 million was appropriated and purportedly spent by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), on its website.

According to Premium Times which reviewed the OSGF’s performance budget for 2017, the office claimed that the amount released, N64,855,875, had been fully utilized, even though N65 million was budgeted for the already-existing website.

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Legit.ng gathers that the budget performance record which was quoted as ‘OGSF WEBSITE’, stated that the ‘procurement process is ongoing’.

The OGSF is presently occupied by Boss Mustapha, who was appointed in late 2017, after the former SGF Babachir Lawal was sacked on corruption allegations; and it is not yet clear which particular appointee executed the project.

At a defense of the 2017 budget before the Senate in January 2018, Mustapha had stated that the OGSF received 50 per cent of its appropriation for capital projects.

He stated: “Performance for capital is N1.2 billion released as at end of December, 2017. It represents 50 per cent. We are hoping that the National Assembly will extend the lifespan of the budget so that we can handle other procurement processes."

Based on that, it appears that the website was included as part of the ‘capital projects’, but the cost and execution of the project has raised eyebrows.

When contacted to analyze the issue, a technology expert described it as being suspicious and impossible. Sodiq Alabi, a communications officer at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria stated: “We have reviewed the website, it is simply shocking that N65 million was spent on the website. It’s implausible.

“OSGF must provide more details on what they did with the money. The website has no special features to justify more than a million naira budget.

“It doesn’t look like they are even updating the website. The copyright is 2013. It looks very impossible and suspicious. At least the SGF office should tell us what they did with the money.

“They should tell us what they did with the money so that Nigerian tax payers’ mind can be at rest.”

Another expert also mirrored the position of Alabi. After a review of the website, Cheta Nwanze, Head of Research, SBM Intelligence, said there could never be any justification for spending N65 million on the website.

In his words: “The website was built using the Joomla CMS, which is a free content management system. All of the media is hosted on YouTube, which is an external server.

“It uses Google Hosted Libraries for its content distribution. No way can it cost ₦65 million, unless I heard you wrong. Depending on the hosting package, $100 per month can get you a very good hosting plan. If you insist on using Google apps to host your emails and documents, that’s $5 per user per month. So you can do the maths.”

Mohammed Nakorji, the spokesman to the SGF, declined to answer questions on the matter when contacted. He snapped: “I’m not an accountant please.”

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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, swore in the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

The swearing-in ceremony took place inside the Council Chambers, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mustapha was appointed to take over from Babchir Lawal whose appointment was terminated by President Buhari after a panel led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo found him guilty.

Babachir Lawal Case: Is Buhari fighting against corruption? - on Legit.ng TV:

Source: Legit.ng

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