NigComSat under investigation

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Nigeria’s NigComSat satellite business is to be “forensically audited” by order of the country’s House of Representatives.

The investigation team will be looking at alleged “sleaze, misappropriation and non-profitability” of the company.

The parliamentary report said that the establishment of NigComSat “was to develop the information and communications technology system in Nigeria, as well as to improve national security, broadcasting, internet access, e-governance, health and the educational sectors of the country. Unfortunately, it has failed to achieve its objectives. Incorporated in 2006 and wholly owned by the Federal Government, NigComSat’s scorecard remains unsatisfactory,” said a statement.

The report added: “[Parliament] is aware that it costs the Nigerian Government the sum of US$340 million of taxpayers money to build the NigComSat-l and a further Naira 43.500 billion from the federal allocation as running cost and another US$ 127 million as debt servicing to the Chinese Government, but there is little or nothing to show for these huge investments. The House is concerned that while the fixed-satellite service business has proven lucrative in so many countries with a worth estimate of the global space as high as N126 trillion and 75 percent of this coming from commercial revenues, NigComSat is yet to get a slice of the pie and has generated zero revenue.”

The statement continued: “[Parliament] is disturbed that even though the company has not been able to make contributions to the nation’s revenue, it has been riddled with series of allegations ranging from contract scams to the tune of N8 billion to bribery of government agents and withholding of vital documents to ensure the cover-up of the massive irregularities against the management of the company.”

The report made other allegations concerning a former MD of the business, and payments made by her and assets that were not declared.


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