With an existence that is almost obscure, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) is not easily identifiable in the scheme of making ICT work in the Nigerian environment. However, research and the objectives of the Fund have shown that it is one of the most important sources of funding ICT projects in rural areas in Nigeria. As indicated by the Fund’s website, it is mandated to “…facilitate the achievement of national policy goals for universal access and universal service to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural, un-served and under-served areas in Nigeria. The Fund is being managed to facilitate the widest possible access to affordable telecommunications services for greater social equity and inclusion for the people of Nigeria.” Working with these facts, the Fund is to see to the development of ICT development to drive the growth of rural areas in Nigeria which is very crucial to the success of the on-going global digitalisation of which Nigeria is not left out.
It is with these interests that Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has made a Freedom of Information request to the Fund to kindly make available the details of its finances from August 2006 to date to help in sustaining the crusade of public service accountability and transparency especially in the ICT Public sector. The request was also made in order to be able to monitor the spate of growth and application of available resources towards the realisation of a viable ICT development in Nigeria.
So far, the request has been made to the USPF and we await their response within the next seven days counting from January 5, 2016 which the letter was evidenced to be acknowledged by the USPF.