June 8, 2020

The Nigerian Communication Satellite Commission (NIGCOMSAT), no doubt, is a strategic organisation in the cause of realising the technological and scientific aspiration of Nigeria.

However, after rigorous and extensive private investigation both official and anonymous in nature as the situation warrants, it is pertinent at this point to note that even at present, there is no mandate to speak for NIGCOMSAT and the accused employees.

But as a coalition of civil society organisation working for transparency and accountability in the scheme of doing things it becomes pertinent that we make our findings known to the citizens of our dear country Nigeria.

We are also bound to do so for critical stakeholders in order to set the record straight for those following trends in this organisation with key interest or even waiting for the outcome of the petition against NIGCOMSAT.

Our reason is anchored on the fact that, the suspicions are so great in Nigeria on the situation of things in this vital organisation, yet challenged by some allegations
on some undesirable development here.

Having said that, we would like to give profound gratitude to all those that made the investigation and findings possible, both in official and unofficial capacity and this is both in the agency in question and other government and private agencies in the real estate.

We must commend them for taking time to search and divulge important information to us about the components of this petition.

Our findings: NIGCOMSAT is a government agency that basically operates at 60 per cent commercial and deal basically with broadband. In other words, it is an agency that may not be necessarily involved in huge capital expenditure up to the extent that the sum of N8 billion contract scam can easily be perpetuated as alleged by the petitioner. In reference to 2020 Appropriation Bill signed to law by the president and also previous budget of the agency, we were able to deduce the fact that, the total allocation of NIGCOMSAT is always less than N4 billion, including overhead cost.

We also know, through finding that its financial orientation is based on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Giving this picture therefore, it becomes less possible for leakages in the finances of the agency, even as we now see in so many other agencies of government.

We, however,note with dismay that the opposition to the government of the day at the centre continues to use the word ‘cabal’ to disparade the government.

They also make people to believe that there are some people presumed to be close to the president and by so doing, having influence on the president and whatever they do whether good or bad it will go unchecked.

These assertions are without prove and substance and again the opposition has transferred the word ‘cabal’ to other formations of government apparently referrimg to employees who are diligent in the discharge of their legitimate duties assigned to them and not necessarily being entitled to any special remuneration.

It is good to note that any leader who desires to succeed must build his team around dedicated, honest and competent employees who are ready to give their best at all times.

This is due to the fact that, leaders cannot be everywhere at the same time. This reality is is what is playing out in NIGCOMSAT where names like Idris Garba, Adamu Idris, Alma Udoyen, Kingsley Udevbue and Rakiya Sulaiman appeared to the petitioner as ‘cabals’.

We discovered that the names mentioned above were tagged ‘cabals’ just for the fact that they have deployed exceptional character and energy in their various duties in the agency and also make themselves available, even at unofficial hours.

These highly dedicated staff have made their services to the agency to the detriment of their comfort because of their aviwed determination to be part of success story that the CEO to, Dr Abimbola Alale intends during his tenure in the agency.

It has been confirmed by authorities in personnel management that good leadership strategy must be built as a team around dedicated employees to the desired success as the head of any organisation. This we believe what Dr Abimbola Alale has done.

Also according to our findings NIGCOMSAT, has since complied with federal government directive on IPPIS and salary being the major financial obligation of the agency, it takes up to 80 per cente of the allocation.

In the same vein, capital vote is always less than N1billion for every fiscal year (page 449) of 2020 Appropriation Bill shows that. It is likely impossible for the agency not to be able to meet its financial obligation as stated by the petitioner.

It is also not far from the truth if we assert that Dr Abimbola Alale was appointed as the CEO of NIGCOMSAT in 2015 due to her exemplary service in the agency.

We however make bold to say that before her appointment as the CEO of NIGCOMSAT, she wouldn’t have had the power to highjack insurance business of NIGCOMSAT having not served as the head of legal services of the agency.

Available records confirmed that the then head of legal services was privy to all the insurance agreements between the agency and FASAHA intercontinental Insurance Brokers Limited.

Findings also revealed that a female staff in the legal department spearheaded the signing of the said agreement which was devoid of any anomaly but the woman in question was not Dr Abimbola Alale.

Having been privileged as the National coordinator of Conference of Civil Society for Transparency and Accountability in different fora with sister CSOs in anti –corruption advocacy, the issue of Abuja CCTV project initiated during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is one that has left a scar in the heart of all well meaning Nigerians.

Severally, the issue has come up and on no occasion has the name of NIGCOMSAT appear as a partner in the said project or as an accomplice in the failed CCTV project. Rather, NIGCOMSAT was brought in after the contract had been awarded to ZTE and the role played by the agency at this stage was supervisory and in form of consultancy.

This is due to the fact that the agency mandate is in correlation with the said project and of course, Through the the project failed, NIGCOMSAT was made to bear the burden of the investment made in terms of recruitment of engineers that were suppose to mainly work on the project to ensure its success.

Of course,finding also shows that the recruitment increased the agency’s overhead, as those recruited had to be retained by the agency.

As coalition of civil society, we equally make bold to say that,the issue of NIGUS International Investment Limited arouses our curiosity about this petition due to the fact that NIGUS and her management are well known to us even outside government business.

By this unique relationship, we have the privilege of getting all necessary information needed for the purpose of this investigation.

In as much as we will not like to delve into employees’ private life, we would like to state categorically that, Mr Adamu Idris or his father inlaw have nothing to do with NIGUS International Investment Limited. This is because the company does not belong to anybody related to his wife’s and they do not share the same ethnic affiliation with the visioner of NIGUS investment whom as we have said is well known to us outside government business.

Also the claim that DTH belonging to NIGCOMSAT has now been signed off to NIGUS is far from the truth. According to our findings,we were able to ascertain that those willing to use the facility for their TV transmission will be granted the licence as long as they are able to fulfil the requirement, both financial and or otherwise.

We also discovered that in the bid to strengthen the financial capacity of NIGCOMSAT, the management reached an agreement with the cooperative of the agency, where the sum of N100 million was borrowed from the cooperative earnings to execute a project of direct data capture of members of a ruling political party before 2015 general elections.

In this regard,funds and employees were deployed but unfortunately as we all know, there was change of power at the centre and this made the party to not to be able to meet its financial obligations to NIGCOMSAT.

Our finding equally revealed that that all employees of the agency were privy to the said contractual agreement between NIGCOMSAT and the political party.

Our belief is that, even with the unpleasant outcome, there was no moral justification for the cooperative to engage the management in any form of industrial dispute.

Also the allegation of asset and ownership of real estate has become the easiest asset to trace during investigation and this is possible due to the effective system that is in place in AEGIS and management system of many private estates in FCT.

This gave us the information that so many long serving employees of NIGCOMSAT had the opportunity of keying into a housing scheme of the agency.
This opportunity made them property owners in Sunny Vale estate and they were able to key into the scheme through loan facility easily verifiable through account details as we know that anti-graft agencies have done in the past.

Finding also shows that some other properties traced to some above mentioned employees are products of inheritance and some by virtue of marriage.

In conclusion, we align with the submission of Comrade Haruna Abdulsalam Okatahi, the Director of Communication and Strategy of the CCSTA that in as much as it is within the power of any individual or groups to write petitions whenever they feel like, such should be done properly, especially in any government establishment.

We must also note the fact that our anti-graft agencies (EFCC, ICPC,NFIU) and many others invest alot of resources in the process of investigation into alleged corruption, just as we have done rigorously in the past weeks before coming up with this piece.

But when petitions are vindictive and not the true state of things, government will be wasting alot of resources without positive result either in the way of asset recovery or punishment.

We also want to plead with the media, individuals and groups to engage in thorough investigation to know facts before writing to anti-graft agencies and before disseminating such information to the public domain.

We want to also use this medium to plead with those in position of authority to work in tandem with the anti-corruption mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and his government.

Also we implore all those whose names may have been mentioned in the petition and most especially the CEO of NIGCOMSAT, to see the whole saga as part of sacrifice they have to make in service to humanity and their father land,Nigeria. They should not to despair in giving their best to the organisation.

Rather, this development is suppose to encourage them to do more in honesty and integrity, because whether we like it or not, men who do good will always have no shortage of enemies.

The president must also recognise those at the helm in government agencies who are serving with integrity and working along the path of the president’s anti-corruption agenda.

Conference of Civil Society for Transparency and Accountability believes that it is because of corruption that in Nigeria, we don’t have stable electricity.

It is because of the cancerous phenomenon that we don’t have portable water to drink, we cannot feed our self as a nation because of corruption, we don’t have hospitals and good schools because of corruption and it goes on and on.

So as individuals, if we decide to do what is right for our nation, our country Nigeria will definitely attain her potentialities.

Comrade Olumjuyiwa Onlede,
National Coordinator,
Conference of Civil Society for Transparency and Accountability

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