Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has stated that the US$ 24.3 million appropriated for the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project is not in any personal account and is being used for the intended purpose. The Director-General said the above-mentioned to debunk rumours that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had instructed him to submit a memo requesting that the funds be paid into a personal account.
Ilelah addressing the media in Abuja stated that the money released so far had been paid to contractors to carry out the project. “The US$ 24.3 million is money earmarked for contractors involved in the DSO project; half of the US$ 24.3 million was paid to the contractors. SES Company is the only contractor that has not been paid because they requested that the money be paid in dollars, but we are working to resolve the matter.”
“The money was meant to be sent to the NBC, but on the minister’s orders, it was sent to the ministry because there was no substantive Director General at the time.” Regarding the allegations that the money was paid into a private account on the minister’s orders, Ilelah stated: “There was no money transferred to a private account. I cannot imagine someone with the calibre of a minister sending government funds to a personal account.”