The National Assembly has approved a N4.87bn budget for the National Intelligence Agency to track, intercept and monitor calls and messages on mobile devices, including Thuraya and WhatsApp.
The amount is part of the N895.8bn supplementary budget submitted by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last month and approved by both chambers of the federal parliament last week after increasing it by about N87bn.
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 our correspondent 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.