The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has alleged that the national assembly has approved N4.87bn for the National Intelligence Agency to track, intercept, monitor calls and messages on mobile devices.
According to group, messages to be monitored include those on Whatsapp.
SERAP described this as an unlawful surveillance and blatant violation of Nigerians’ right to privacy
The National Intelligence Agency has got a N4.87bn budget to track, intercept and monitor calls and messages on mobile devices, including Thuraya and WhatsApp.
According to a report by Punch, the amount is part of the augmented N895.8bn supplementary budget submitted by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last month and approved by both chambers of the National Assembly last week.
The budget according to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin, is meant to procure equipment for the military and to fight further spread of COVID-19.
Details of the supplementary budget obtained by Punch revealed that the NIA would spend N2,938,650,000 on the Thuraya interception solution, while the WhatsApp interception solution would gulp N1,931,700,000.
Apart from this, the NIA got additional N129m to enable its personnel embark on foreign training.
The Defence Intelligence Agency, on its part, got a capital vote of N16.8bn to provide infrastructure, cyber intelligence centre/laboratory, independent lawful intercept platform (voice and advanced data monitoring) and tactical mobile geological platform.