The House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, on Tuesday, 18th August, started an investigation into the failed $500 million launch of the Satellite 1-R, and the N180.9 million insurance premium allegedly paid for the failed Satellite 1 project which was launched in 2011.
The committee has gave a 7-day ultimatum to Nig-Comsat to submit all documents on insurance transactions and details on the expenditure of the contract funds.
Rep Darlington Nwokocha, Chairman of the Committee, questioned two Managing Directors of Fasahal Insurance and A & G contracted by NigComSat management over alleged irregularities in the unilateral appointment of the insurance brokers without recordso of a due process.
He said 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.
Nwokocha 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 a thorough deliberation on the issues, the Chairman issued a 7-day ultimatum for all the parties to provide relevant documents relating to the transactions.
In response to the questions on the appointment of the Lead insurance company, NigComSat Managing Director/CEO, Abimbola Alale stated that the Chinese company which manufactured the satellite unilaterally nominated the UK based insurance firm to insure NigComsat 2 which was launched in 2014.
NigComSat Legal Adviser, Mrs. Alina Okpalefe affirmed she was the Secretary of the Project Committee and disclosed that no legal official accompanied the delegation to China where the contract was sealed in 2011.
In his presentation, however, the Managing Director of Fasahal Insurance company, Mr. Frederic Adejo who affirmed that he is not a chattered Broker, said 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 doublespeak, he denied knowledge of the relationship between Marsh – Nigeria with the Lead Insurance company.
The Managing Director of A & G Insurance company, Mr. Abiola Ajibowu, informed the Committee that all relevant documents required by the Committee have been transmitted.
He revealed 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.
As a result of this, the Committee Chairman asked for bank statements on all the transactions, schedule insurance policy, and stressed that there is no classified information that should be hidden from the Parliament.