PRESS RELEASE: TrackaNG-BudgIT Got It Wrong… Projects At Counter Terrorism Centre(CTC) Bauchi Ongoing According To Budget Provisions.
Posted by Onome Naomi
The Department of State Services wishes to react to a misleading publication by TrackaNG–BudgIT, self-acclaimed budget implementation monitors to the effect that the Service’s Counter Terrorism Centre, Bauchi is not under construction in spite of budget provisions for it.
On 19th February, 2022, Tracka on its social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Twitter, posted that the construction of DSS Counter-Terrorism Training Centre, Gubi Dam, Bauchi State allegedly valued at N1.1 Billion in 2021 FG budget was “not done”. It added that it “visited the site and discovered they only renovated a primary school and mosque adjacent to the site”. Tracka made other unsubstantiated and wild claims as part of its findings.
To set the records straight, the DSS outrightly dismisses Tracka’s unfounded claims. It further expresses dismay at the shoddy way Tracka embarked on its project verification exercise as well as the manner it drew conclusions without the slightest efforts to be diligent.
DSS’ findings have shown that the Tracka Field Officer did not visit the project site where about 17 structures are simultaneously being executed by different contractors. It is instructive to note that the projects are at different levels of completion. It may also be noted that the primary school in question was a dilapidated Nomadic Education Centre located at Galga, near Gubi Dam, Firo where the CTC is located. The Service, in conjunction with its Land School (site of the CTC), found the primary school in a bad state and decided to renovate it as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, typical of the Service wherever it has such public facility and cohabits with the community. As evidenced by attached pictures, the said school was rehabilitated and handed over to the appreciative Galga community whose children now use better facilities including desks at the school. Surprisingly, Tracka only stopped its verification of the budget implementation at the primary school from where it drew hasty conclusions of non-implementation. What a lazy way of discharging a mandate.
Though not opposed to pursuit of accountability and transparency by NGOs, the Service is averse to resorting to fake news and outright misinformation as a way of enlightening the public. To seek redress, the Service has brought the misinformation carried out by Tracka to its Management and in that regard sought a refutal and unreserved apology.
For the avoidance of doubt, the CTC projects as captured in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 budgets are ongoing (See attached pictures of the site). The DSS and its Director General, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji BICHI are committed to transparency, accountability and service. It is simply for his integrity that Mr. BICHI was called out from retirement to head the foremost intelligence organization. He is not given to corrupt tendencies. So far, he has shown exemplary, purposeful and transformational leadership at the DSS.
Accordingly, the public is hereby properly guided and should therefore disregard the initial story by Tracka, which is expected to show evidence that disciplinary action is being taken against its staff that misled it. This is how to be accountable and transparent.
Lastly, the CTC is open to anyone who may wish to visit it to verify the level of work there. Going forward, the Service will not take lightly attempts by individuals or organisations like Tracka to defame it.
Dr. Peter AFUNANYA, fsi Public Relations Officer, Department of State Services
National Headquarters, Abuja related this to the press on 22nd February, 2022.*