The National Intelligence Agency’s budget of N4.87bn has been approved by the National Assembly to enable it track, intercept and monitor calls and messages on mobile devices, including Thuraya and WhatsApp.
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.
A breakdown of the budget showed that the NIA will spend N2.94 billion on the Thuraya interception solution, while the WhatsApp interception solution would gulp N1.93 billion.
The intelligence agency will also be spending N129 million to upgrade the skills of its workers.
The additional budget approved for NIA is part of the N895.8 billion supplementary budget submitted by the President General Muhammadu Buhari last month and approved by both chambers of the parliament last week.
Also, the budget showed that the Defence Intelligence Agency will receive a capital vote of N16.8bn to provide infrastructure, establish a cyber intelligence centre/laboratory, independent lawful intercept platform (voice and advanced data monitoring) and tactical mobile geological platform.