… As Africa’s foremost satellite operator dismisses fictitious N10.4bn Splurge
BY VESHE UGBOGBO
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) have vowed to work together to ensure that the anti-graft agency’s job of getting rid of corruption is enhanced through the deployment of cutting-edge satellite communication technology resources.
Meanwhile, the foremost player in Africa’s satellite space has strongly dismissed as non-consequential and a figment of unproductive imagination the allegation that the company’s MD boisterously spent N10.4 billion on fictitious insurance remittance as published in an online medium.
The General Manager in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Adamu Idris, who dismissed the allegation with a wave of the hand during a media briefing weekend in Abuja, noted that the issue which is though imaginary has been justifiably and properly resolved by federal government, adding:
“While the issues imagined to be the infractions of NIGCOMSAT have long been thrashed by the federal agencies responsible for public accountability, we are duty bound to stop the continuous misrepresentation of facts by these carriers of falsehood.
“Even as these elements indulge in their petty, immoral pastime, NIGCOMSAT continues to be inspired by the dizzying accomplishments of its MD, Dr. Alale who is internationally acclaimed for the high standards attained in the management of human and material resources.”
Idris, advised both the traditional, online and social to always to always seek clarification before releasing misguided, unverified and non-factual reports which could spike unnecessary controversy across the country.
He urged the fourth estate of the realm to take advantage of NIGCOMSAT’s open door policy to cross facts before rushing to publish their report, adding that caution must be given its place of priority in Nigeria’s developmental trajectory.
The high point of EFCC and NIGCOMSAT meeting harped on the imperative for collaborative synergy for the deployment of high technology solution as consummated between the Chairman of the anti-graft agency Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa and the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Dr. Abimbola Alale, at the EFCC Headquarters on Thursday April 22, 2021
Expressing her profound excitement, Alale, who was represented by the Company’s Special Projects Officer, Morakinyo Akinola, said the visit was to expand the existing partnership between the two agencies, explaining that the bouquet of services rendered by the agency would no doubt add value to EFCC’s operation.
NIGCOMSAT, she stressed thrives on seamless communications through creative innovation and “provides channels and broadband connections to be able to transmit virtual data in a secure and comfortable way.” The MD, said.
She went ahead to offer a panoply of solutions that would assist EFCC, which include creative solutions in the identity authentication ecosystem and use of dedicated channels for broadcast of programmes. “We have innovations in terms of biometric and RFID-based solutions that will look into the issues of staff attendance, access control system, report management, leave management and guest/visitor management system.” she said.
In his remark and while being visibly impressed by NIGCOMSAT’s presentation, Bawa noted that most of the propositions from the satellite agency were issues already being considered by the Commission.
He said: “We have received several proposals from consultants in the private sector and we have set up committees to look at all these things, because we are planning on digitalising all our processes. We believe technology is the way forward in the fight against corruption.
While calling on NIGCOMSAT to join the anti-corruption fight, the EFCC boss stated that “you know what we do which is to rid the country of economic and financial crimes but we are not angels and so we need information from everybody; NIGCOMSAT can provide us with such service”
While commending the MD’s drive for strategically steering the ship of the company, Idris, added that Alale’s recognition as Fellow of the African Scientific Institute (FASI), Certified Forensics Investigation Professional (CFIP) and member of the International Academy of Forensics (MIAF), among several others has no doubt assisted propelled the organization to its present lofty height within the continent.
He said: “It is therefore surprising that at the twilight of one of the most remarkable administrations NIGCOMSAT has ever had, there is deliberate campaign to not only downplay the effectiveness of her leadership, but to altogether obfuscate her landmark achievements.
According to him, the allegation of fraud in the story is simply a desperate concoction designed to hoodwink the gullible and distract NIGCOMSAT leadership from pursuing its lofty goals, adding that true motivation for the article, is only known to the author but where is that principle of fairness which is at the core of the profession he purports to practice?
Of the nine paragraphs that make up the story, not one tries to explain the NIGCOMSAT side of the story, he said.
“For the purpose of putting the records straight, it is important to state again that NIGCOMSAT-1 was launched in May 2007 by China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). NIGCOMSAT-1 was China’s first commercial in-orbit delivery telecommunications satellite.
“A $200 million loan was used to build its predecessor NIGCOMSAT 1, taken by the Federal Ministry of Finance in 2006. Up to this date, no other loan has been or is being procured by the present administration on behalf of NIGCOMSAT Ltd.
“On November 11, 2008, NIGCOMSAT-1 failed in orbit due to solar array anomaly. On March 24, 2009, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, NIGCOMSAT Ltd. and CGWIC signed the NIGCOMSAT-1R (replacement) satellite in-orbit delivery contract.
“NIGCOMSAT-1R was launched in 2011, paid for by insurance proceeds from NIGCOMSAT-1 and CGWIC and at no cost to the Government of Nigeria.
“NIGCOMSAT-1R has been classified as a critical national infrastructure since 2017, hence insurance is being dealt with by the Federal Ministry of Finance directly. However, prior to 2017, the Management of NIGCOMSAT Ltd, paid and settled all insurance payments, the Company does not have any measure of financial indebtedness or fraud as propounded by the writer’s imagination.” He added.
While advocating for the spirit as is supposed to be the norm in media practice, he reiterated: “NIGCOMSAT Ltd doors are widely opened to media engagement and partnership, we take exception to unbalance stories full of lies meant to denigrate and impugn on the personality of principal officers of NIGCOMSAT Ltd.”