Nigeria: Reps Probe Alleged Waste of $500m Nigcomsat Satellite Project Fund, Others

The House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, on Tuesday, began its investigation into the failed $500 million launch of the Satellite 1-R, as well the N180.9 million insurance premium allegedly paid for the failed Satellite 1 project which was launched in 2011.

The Committee has given 7days ultimatum to Nig-Comsat for the submission of all documents on insurance transactions and details on the expenditure of the contract sum.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep Darlington Nwokocha, also quizzed two Managing Directors of Fasahal Insurance and A & G engaged by NigComSat management over alleged irregularities surrounding the unilateral appointment of the insurance brokers without recorded to due process.

He declared that the panel’s enquiry was based on about 6 petitions written by “concerned Nigerians” within the insurance industry and those working within some of the organisations invited.

He added that the investigative hearing was to expose breaches by the operator who allegedly influenced the contract as well as financial infractions that have held down the multi-million dollar satellite contract(s)

After exhaustive deliberation on the issues, the Chairman issued a 7-day ultimatum for all the parties to provide relevant documents relating to the transactions.

While responding to questions on the appointment of the Lead insurance company, NigComSat Managing Director/CEO, Abimbola Alale argued that the Chinese company which manufactured the satellite unilaterally nominated the UK based insurance firm to insure NigComsat 2 which was launched in 2014.

On her part, NigComSat Legal Adviser, Mrs. Alina Okpalefe who affirmed that she was the Secretary of the Project Committee disclosed that no legal official accompanied the delegation to China where the contract was sealed in year 2011.

However, in his presentation, the Managing Director of Fasahal Insurance company, Mr. Frederic Adejo who affirmed that he is not a chattered Broker, disclosed that NigComSat introduced him to the Lead Insurance firm.

While responding on the actual premium paid for the satellite project, Mr. Adejo who disclosed that the sum of N180,992,836.35 was paid in 2014 argued that he shopped for Marsh outside the Nigerian shore.

in a double-speak, he denied knowledge of the relationship between Marsh – Nigeria with the Lead Insurance company.

On his part, the Managing Director of A & G Insurance company, Mr. Abiola Ajibowu, informed the Committee argued that all relevant documents required by the Committee have been transmitted.

He disclosed that the only evidence of the contract is the policy document which contained the value of the asset, premium paid and the period of the insurance policy.

To this end, the Committee Chairman demanded for bank statements on all the transactions, schedule insurance policy, just as he stressed that there is no classified information that should be hidden from the Parliament.

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