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DSS demands apology from NGO over misleading report on CTC



Public show of wealth poses grave security risk, DSS warns

The Department of State Services has demanded an apology from an NGO, TrackaNG, over a report on Counter Terrorism Centre in Bauchi.

TrackaNG, an organisation tracking the implementation of government projects, had reported that the Counter Terrorism Centre in Bauchi was not being constructed despite the budget provision for it.

A statement on Tuesday by the DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya,  said from the Services findings, the Tracka Field Officer did not visit the project site.

According to him, about 17 structures are being executed by different contractors.

The statement was titled, ‘TrackaNG-Budgit got it wrong, projects at counter Terrorism Centre, Bauchi ongoing according to budget provisions’.

The statement read, “The DSS  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.

“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.

“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.”

He said the service had demanded an apology from the organisation in order to seek redress.

Afunanya said, “We are 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.”