Planning Minister stalls BRISIN project
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Five years after the Federal Government approval of the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN), project and release of 300 million, the project has fail to take shape.
The project was approved by the Federal Executive Council in its may 18 2007 meeting with the FCT as pilot, and a service agreement was signed between the Federal Government represented by the National Planning Commission (NPC), and the service provider Dermo Impex.
Dermo Impex, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company based in Italy has developed a Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria, otherwise known as BRISIN, to provide the fundamental infrastructure for information flow right from the grassroots to the national level.
The project, an integrated data and information infrastructure from grass-root to national level which was projected of creating five million jobs in four years.
The preparatory phase of the project is supposed to be jointly financed by the FCT administration and the NBS, the BRISIN project executing agency. Towards this end, some money was appropriated in the 2007 capital budget of the FCT and NBS, respectively. That probably explains why the project has not taken off.
Investigation reveals that the project has been stalled by the supervising Minister in charge of the national project, and Minister for National Planning Dr Shamusideen Usman who seems to have vested interest in the project not kicking off.
According to a top source in the Ministry confirmed that all is set for the commencement of the project but the contractor, Dermo Impex has not received any fund from the government since 2008 when the FCT ministry released 300 Million to National Planning for its kick off .
“The Minister suddenly lose interest in the project after making several unsuccessful ‘contacts’ with the contractor”
The fund investigation reveals that has been laying fallow an UBA bank account with name BRISIN project account under National Planning, since 2010, while the Minister for National Planning Dr Shamusideen Usman 's personal Aide , Mr Yakubu Bello is a signatory to that account, contradicting the project’s Steering Committee arrangements.
“ we have 6 signatories to the account, two each from three major stakeholders in the project including FCT and National planning, but the minister smuggled his personal aide into begin a signatory to the project account which should not be because the aide is not a staff of the National Planning Commission but a political appointee by the minister himself.”
Checks reveals that a total sum of 300 million was appropriated for the project by the FCT Ministry in its 2008 budget and released same year by the then Minister Muhammadu Adamu Aliero.
Secretary Ministry of FCT Ari Mohammed also confirmed that his ministry had fulfill its own part of the BRISIN project.
Investigation revealed that the minister action had also caused uproar among the Steering Committee members of BRISIN, who came together with National Bureau of Statistics to move the project forward but hit brick walls when the Minister refused to release a working order and fund for the contractor.
Another member of the committee, a Director with National Planning Commission who does not want name in print accused the minister of demanding for irrelevant documents when approached by the presidency on reason for the setbacks on the project.
“the minister had requested for same document more than six times since we started this committee, as you are aware the FCT has gave us their 300 million for the pilot but only the minister can give reason why the project is stalled, we have perfected our work at the committee level, we made our recommendation to the supervising minister, we have sorted out all issues since 2010 and nothing should be delaying the project than fund which is not made available to the contractors to the best of my knowledge ”
The stalled project is to be run by Dermo Imprex, Nigerian Government and Italy for ten years which could have raised 10 million jobs, the international community’s is interested in having an integrated data for Nigeria.
Efforts to get the Executive Secretary of National Planning Commission, Fidelis Ugbo comment on the project proved abortive as constant calls to his MTN line were not picked and about 4 messages sent to same line where not responded to.
NPC yet to execute Presidency order on BRISIN Project
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
As controversy continues to rage over the implementation of the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN), a multi-billion naira data integrated project conceived to provide the fundamental infrastructure for information flow from grassroots to the national level, fresh investigation reveal that National Planning Minister Dr. Shamsudeen Usman and some top officers of the National Planning Commission (NPC) flouted Presidency order on extension of the project.
Investigation reveals that Presidency in a letter dated 26th December 2010 signed by Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Asiwaju Mike Oghdiomhe titled ‘Re: Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN) RELEASE OF FUND, OFFICIAL FLAG OFF DATE AND EXTENTION OF PILOT TO GEO-POLITICAL ZONES’ ordered the extension of the project to each state in the country’s six geo-political zones and budgetary allocations where made to its effects.
A source in planning ministry said the extension of the pilot project was to ensure immediate national impact that more jobs are created from the project, we are creating 10 million jobs in ten years of implementing the project.
Dr. Shamsudeen however refused to makes plans for inclusion of other states, while stalling the release of a N300 million take-off grant from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministry our investigations reveals.
“Because of the vital importance of the project, FCT re-budgeted in 2009 and various communication transpired between Dermo Impex, the Presidency and National Planning, to the point that Minister Shamsudeen confirmed to President Jonathan that without BRISIN it would be difficult to implement vision 2020.20, and MDG goals. at this affirmation, the President requested that enough fund be made available in both FCT and other agencies budget including NPC, the President authorized the extension of pilot to each state from each Geo-political zone to allow national impact from the onset, FCT actually increased their 2011 budget but could not release it since the one budgeted and release has not been used,” our source added.
Earlier following an exclusive report on the stalemate of the project published in Peoples Daily newspaper last year, panoramic letters and documentations that transpired between NPC and contractor Dermo Impex discussing strategy for implementation and funding systems.
A technical meeting was held by first week in January and a Steering committee and Stakeholders meeting would follow to discuss strategy for implementation and funding systems.
The project was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its session of May, 18 2007, with initial 300 million take off grant released by FCT Ministry to NPC in 2008.
Finally, BRISIN to project kick off in January
Adamawa, Kano, Niger others pilot status
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
After five years of stalemate several sources confirmed that final arrangements are been concluded for the flag-off of the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN), a multi-billion naira data integrated project conceived to provide the fundamental infrastructure for information flow from grassroots to the national level.
The good news is coming after an exclusive investigation reported by Peoples Daily Newspaper, several sources said the project is awaiting just an order from National Planning Minister Dr. Shamsudeen Usman to the contractor Demo Imprex which is expected to be released this week.
The Minister in the order is to release a N300 million take-off grant from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministry which was released to the National Planning Commission (NPC) for the contractor in 2008.
Speaking with a top official of Dermo Impex, BRISIN service providers who did not want to go into much discussion but simply said that there has been actions towards recommencing the project implementation, that there has been communications between NPC, Bureau of Public Procurement BPP , National Bureau of Statistics NBS and Dermo Impex, which seems to have clarified the funny situation created on the project since 2008. “I only hope that all the parties involved will leverage on this opportunity to move this project forward and allow Nigeria benefit from this golden objective,” he said.
Dermo Impex, BRISIN service providers Managing Director Dr. Antony Uwa said the project will create more than 200,000 jobs in 2013 and provide credible data of citizens in pilot states.
Our source said last week panoramic letters and documentations have transpired between NPC and contractor Dermo Impex discussing fast strategy for implementation and funding systems.
Our investigation also reveals that in a meeting with stakeholders last week, the Planning Minister at the close of last week approved Adamawa, Imo, Kano, Lagos, Niger and Rivers as second pilot phase for the project and express commitment to fast track the implantation of the project.
Why BRISIN project stalled- Contractor explains
The Managing Director Dermo Imprex Nigeria, Dr. Antony Uwa has given reasons for the delay in implementing the project, the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN) an integrated data and information project for Nigeria since 2007.
Uwa in a statement said the project was approved by the Federal Executive Council in its May 18 2007 meeting with the FCT as pilot, and a service agreement was signed between the Federal Government represented by the National Planning Commission (NPC) as coordinating agency, and the service provider Dermo Impex.
Dr. Uwa said bottled neck bureaucracy and vested personal interest in the Ministry of National Planning has stalled the project since 2007 when funds was budgeted for its implementation.
“since the award of the project in 2007, funds was released by the FCT Ministry which was approved as pilot state to the ministry of National Planning but the ministry for reasons best known to them refused to release the money to us, the unfortunate story is that the Planning Commission pushed the company into borrowing money to start the project in 2008, but in 2013 we have made moves towards implementing the integrated data and information for Nigeria.”
He accused vested powerful interests in the National Planning Ministry of frustrating and playing the company since 2007 with various meetings and bogus requests.
Appealing to President Goodluck Jonathan to call National Planning Commission to order and stop playing politics with project of national interest, Uwa explains that the project will create about 10 million jobs in 10 years, control crime rate among other numerous benefits.
He lamented that lack of integrated data and information management infrastructures remain the biggest impediment to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
Dr. Uwa said Nigeria must begin to realize that the modern Information Management approach is the missing link in its development efforts, particularly the absence of a culture of harnessing information, facts, figures, data, and statistics, as the driving force of development, as practiced by the developed countries of Europe, America, and Asia.
He said that the Citizens‘ Advocacy Group, CAG, an amalgam of civil society organisations and an advocacy organ of PRONACO, has decided to lend the Government a hand of support from the private sector by organizing an Information Management Stakeholders Conference.
The Conference is expected to kick start the implementation of the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN) an integrated data for Nigeria project which has been stalled in the last six years .
Uwa said the conference is to sensitize and mobilize the nation’s information managers and stakeholders for a new era of modern Information Management in Nigeria.
Contractor urge FG to set up Task-force on BRISIN project
Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The Managing Director of Dermo Impex, Dr Anthony Uwa has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a taskforce to monitor the implementation of the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN) project.
Speaking at an interactive session with our correspondent Lagos, Uwa urged President Jonathan to make BRISIN an unconditional priority, “if his transformation agenda will have any meaningful impact to both Nigeria and outside world, he must oversee the implementation of this project that is targeted at creating millions of jobs.”
He advised that a taskforce to be instituted under the Presidency, made up of experts who are not politically bias, from the Security, agencies , Solution providers, Nigeria Bureau of Statistic , Federal Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Interior, Federal Ministry of Finance , Civil Societies and the implementation committee with project manager appointed to interface with Dermo Impex and group.
He said the taskforce will be supported by the Project Steering Committee which already exist, stressing that the project coordination should be removed from National Planning Commission NPC to any other ministry of the federal government .
He said his company, which is the service provider and contractor for the project has not receive any fund from the government to implement the project.
He said the contract was signed in May 2007 “ with the conditions that within 60 days of execution of this contract, 25% upfront payment will be made to kick start the project, 55% to be paid at first milestone and 20 at submission of project last milestone and pilot implementation documents. On confirmation of funds at NBS and FCT, National Planning Commission authorized our company and partners to borrow money and start the intellectual part of the project, we and our partners employed workers both in Nigeria and Italy, and a lot of preliminary work done and preparatory logistics were put in place . All the Steering Committee members under the Chairmenship of Statistician General, requested the release of the 25% contract sum to allow project move to the next level, NPC, who in the interim has collected project money from both FCT and NBS, and was collecting interest without allowing the project implementation. When we found that NPC has decided not to release the fund, our company could not continue spending time and borrowed money while money released to NPC was yielding interest to somebody.”
He said the project is a national integrated data and information infrastructure system, intended to provide a solid foundation for planning technological and socio-economic development growth for Nigeria.
The BRISIN platform will facilitate and guarantee regular and continuous collection of all data and information and integrates same for assessment and management of the population, as well as the economy and utilized by all institutions in the country. The system is to be built with biometric technology as an integral part.