USPF blames low budget implementation on delayed passage

Speaking when House Committee on Communications led by its Chairman, Dave Salako, paid an over sight visit to USPF, Fayomi said that the approved budget for 2009 was conveyed to the USPF vide a letter dated September 30, 2009, adding that the implementation of most of its projects is yet to commence as the contracts are yet to be awarded.

He stated that in line with its mandate, USPF designed and initiated implementation of projects for Unserved and Underserved areas, institutions and consultancies aimed at building institutional capacity of the Fund.

Fayomi explained that USPF under its programmes for institutions selected schools access project and Tertiary Institution Access Projects and under its Unserved and Underserved areas proposed the establishment of base transceiver station, co-location infrastructure project (CIP), and Community Communication Centre (CCC).

He noted that contracts for the e-Learning for tertiary institutions have not been awarded as the proposals are still being evaluated.

The executive secretary added that under the co-location projects, about 550 sites were submitted while only 54 qualified for the subsidy and have received approval from the Ministerial Tenders Board as well as letters of contract award but noted that implementation is still at an initial stage.

On connectivity for challenged group, Fayomi said due to complain of stigmatisation by people living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), one site in Kaduna is being considered for them which is awaiting Board consideration and approval.

Salako in his response said the late passage of the budget was not the fault of the National Assembly but that of the Presidency, which did send the budget to National Assembly on time.

He said that efforts are on top gear to ensure the budget of USPF is embodied into the budget of the federation and urged Nigerians to pray for quick recovery of President Yar’Adua in order for things to work faster.

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