The Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has faulted the Federal Government (FG) on the N6.2 billion claimed to have been spent in training youths in Bauchi State on Smart phone repairs.
The group described it as 'unbelievable and largely doubtful' that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development spent such huge amount to train and equip 16,820 Bauchi youths to enable them become financially self-reliant.
A statement by the National Coordinator HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, stated the cost “is generally perceived by most Nigerians as mindless corruption that should and must be investigated."
Onwubiko maintained that the “totality of phones in use in Bauchi State is not likely worth a quarter of that massive scale of public funds made from the export of crude oil produced in the neglected Niger Delta region now being claimed to have been blown away in a non-productive and non-commercial venture as phone repairs.”
He flayed the ministry for allegedly deviating from its core mandate to undertake “institutional interventions that local or state governments ought to do with financial assistance from the office of the President or, at the most, some of those disbursements ought to be handled by Ministries of Youths, Social Development and Women Affairs.”
According to the minister, Sadiya Farouq, who spoke at the flag-off of the N-Skills (Smart Phone Repairs) Programme in Bauchi on Wednesday, the project is used to pilot the scheme, which is part of the N-Power non-graduate programme.
She said the exercise is consistent with President Buhari’s aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
HURIWA said it would dispatch a team to the North East state to ascertain the number of phone repairers available in the entire state.
"Preliminary investigation from our registered members resident in Bauchi, phone repairs as a job is not commercially viable as most people, who use handsets owned China-made torchlight phones that do not require regular repairs since they are so cheap that it is a waste of resources to attempt to fix them when damaged.”