The Nigerian government reportedly spent ₦65 million on an already existing website in 2017.
The website belongs to the Office of the Secretary General of the Federation(OSGF) and was already functional before the money was budgeted for it.
According to a Premium Times report, a review of the 2017 budget revealed that the sum had been released and was already fully utilised.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary General of the Federation, had earlier appeared before the Senate. He pleaded with them for more money in a budget extension to continue procurement and projects which included said website.
A time stamp on the website showed it had not been updated since 2013, so the purported funds are exaggerated.
But even if this were not the case, a PHP website costs way less than this to build. According to a Lagos based developer, a website like this will cost a maximum of ₦1 million, 98.5% less than the OSGF website.
ICT projects in Nigeria fail for different reasons, but websites have always been a disgraceful spin to them. This is not the first time websites have been made into white elephant projects.
In August of 2015, immediate past governor of Lagos State came under fire for spending ₦78 million on an upgrade of his personal website.
The ex governor gave a statement at the time, but the company that was named as architects of the website reportedly denied claims it was paid that amount.
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It is absurd that these figures keep surfacing for “website upgrades”. Even laughable considering the army of tech heads that works in and with governments in Nigeria.
Will the new policy by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) curb this trend of overpriced website maintenance costs? Only time will tell.