BY RUTH TENE NATSA, Abuja –
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has expressed concern over news making the rounds, especially on the social media, that it spent N700 million to create a website for the sector.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Mohammed Abbas, said in a statement on Sunday that what the ministry acquired with the money was an integrated IT infrastructure comprising two Data Centres, an off-site recovery centre.
“The ministry considers it incumbent to react swiftly to this misrepresentation and to set the records straight,” he said.
He also said civil, environmental works and running of the centres till end of first quarter 2018, training of over 225 officials locally and internationally amongst others, were cost components of the entire infrastructure and programme.
‘‘It is indeed disingenuous of anyone to reinvent and reduce all of these into an expenditure on a website,” he said.
He said the two ministers of the ministry and other officials of the sector and stakeholders unveiled the IT Integrated Automation & Interactive Solid Minerals Portal (IAISMP) on Nov. 9. He said this was in line with the fulfilment of one of the short-term pledges listed in the sector’s roadmap, adding that the the assets formef critical pillars of the agenda to reform the mining and minerals sector. “In realising aspects of this project as a turnkey solution, we have been careful to follow all laid down processes, since the cost of implementing the project is above ministerial limits. “We sought and obtained the concurrence of the Federal Executive Council after a detailed presentation in January 2017. ” In the course of the project, we have emphasised the need for stakeholders’ interface, which included a facility inspection tour for reporters and journalists who cover the sector.
“We have no reason to commit public resources to projects that will not advance the course of repositioning our sector; we believe that we did everything to intimate the general public about our activities in this respect.” He said the IT Integrated Automation and Interactive Solid Minerals Portal (IAISMP) project had the feasibility assessment, needs analyses and re-engineering of the IT processes in the ministry, departments and agencies.