May 9, 2021

Tells DG to Stop Running NIGCOMSAT Like Social Service Organization

By Atinuke Nukay/ TnTv Network

Chairman Senate committee of Finance and National Planning, Senator Solomon Adeola has cautioned the Director General of Nigerian Satellite communications (NIGCOMSAT), Abimbola Alele to desist from running NIGCOMSAT like a social service outfit.

The charge came when the Director General told the Senate Committees in Finance and National Planning interrogating contributions of 60 Government owned Enterprises (GOE) to the 2021 -2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Alele who appeared before the committee to defend the proposed budget of NIGCOMSAT for the 2021 fiscal year said the agency has been unable to reach and surpass her revenue targets of about N2trn because they offer services to government agencies at no cost.

L-R Sen. Solomon Olamilekan (Chairman C’tee on Finance), Dr Ahmad Lawan (President of the Senate)

She added that in spite of the challenges with raising revenue following the migration of clients to other service provider, the company focused on providing  broadband services to clients in rural communities for which it generated N1.19bn in 2019 but remitted N178 million.

The committee also queried the expenditure of N1bn which the chairman said was too much am amount to spend especially when revenue generating agencies are expected to send 80 percent of such monies and expend 20 be per cent for their operations.

Abimbola Alele (DG NIGCOMSAT)

According to Adeola: “That N178 million is too small for the Consolidated Revenue Savings Account, about N800bn or minimum N700m should go to the CRSA account.”

He also said that all agencies of government have been allocated budgets for these services and should pay for the services rendered to them by Nigcomsat.

The accountant general who was part of the interrogation advised the Director General of Nigcomsat to evolve a strategy it can use to make recoveries of debt owed the NIGCOMSAT, a position shared by the accountant general of the federation.

According to Ahmed Idris said: “You are a mutual liability company and it is expected that you should be making profit; that is why it is a limited liability company.

“If you are rendering services for free to agencies that request for that they should be paying for those services. Even government organisations should pay.

“We make payment to Galaxy backbone for the service they offer to us at the office. You should draw up your strategy to recover your debts and to charge properly because you are in business.”

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