How Gombe State Purchased 100 ‘Refurbished’ Computers For N1m Each

More conflicting information has emerged as regards the controversial desktop computers purchased for Filiya and Kaltungo under Shongom Federal Constituency in Gombe State.

In the 2019 Zonal Intervention Funds projects, the former representative of the constituency, Binta Bello, nominated the project and was slated to be executed from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The office of the SGF was allocated N16.39bn in 2019 to execute various projects. One of which is to equip the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board centre in Filiya with 100 desktop computers.

TrackaNG, the project monitoring arm of BudgIT, a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement to facilitate societal change, tweeted about the project, which has led to some uproar on the social media platform.

Head of TrackaNG, Ilevbaoje Uadame, said many of the projects under the office of the SGF were not trackable.

“Why will SGF be the one handling supplies of computers at that amount. Most fraud in constituency projects are being perpetuated under SGF and this is one of them,” Uadame said.

When SaharaReporters called the office of the SGF, the Director of Press Interior, Willie Bassey, said he was not aware that the SGF executes projects.

Many Nigerians on Twitter are querying the plausibility of purchasing a single set of a desktop computer for a million naira.

One Akinola Aloba, a Twitter user, who claimed to deal in computers, said not only are the computers substandard, they could not have cost more than N100,000.

“I sell computers. These computers looked like coupled PCs. The carton looks fake and why are there no serial and product number stickers on them? FYI Coupled PCs are 100k max! Someone just made a profit of N90m!” Aloba said.

However, new information has now emerged that only N32m was released for the said project.

Another Twitter user, Alhamadu Yaro, who claimed to be familiar with the ongoing project, said only N32m was released for the projects.

Yaro, who is suspected to be a staff member of the Shongom Federal Constituency, disclosed that the project was executed by the National Lottery Trust Fund.

The investigation by SaharaReporters revealed that NLTF is one of the agencies under the office of the SGF.

Damen told our correspondent that many of the fraudulent projects under the SGF office were perpetuated with some of these agencies.

In the letter on the letterhead of the NLTF, the project was awarded to Skyview Construction Global Service at the rate of N32,700,700 for the purchase of 150 units of computers.

The current representative for the constituency, Simon Karu, confirmed that 150 computers were purchased with 30 per cent of the budgeted amount that was released.

Although the tracking officer for TrackaNG said she counted only 100 computers when she visited the site.

Karu said the 50 extra were taken to another computer centre in the community.