Abuja – The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Information Technology to commence investigation into activities of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT 1).
The lawmakers said the investigation was necessary so as to reactivate NIGCOMSAT 1 to enable it meet the country’s huge communications needs.
The house also mandated the committee to wade into the conflict between the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA) and NIGCOMSAT 1.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion entitled “Need to Investigate the Status of Nigeria’s Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT 1) “ sponsored by Rep. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu- PDP).
Moving the motion, Okechukwu blamed high cost of internet data and the country’s inability to meet the June 17 international telecommunications union digital switch over deadline on inter-agency rivalry between NASDRA and NIGCOMSAT.
“In spite of the enormous communications potentials of the NIGCOMSAT 1 coupled with its 28 active transponders (devices for receiving radio signals) and 12 redundant transponders as payloads, NIGCOMSAT 1 has not been put to optimum use since 2011 when it was re-launched,’’ he said.
He stated that if put to use, each transponder was capable of carrying six to eight digital television programmes.
According to him, six to eight television stations can broadcast simultaneously on one transponder and can support over 168 television stations at the same time.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“If put to its optimum use, NIGCOMSAT 1 will enhance security intelligence reporting, particularly as Nigeria battles to end the problem of insurgency and terrorism in the North-East, among other benefits,“ he said.
Similarly, the house called on Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to commence an audit of the quality of service provided by the Internet Service Providers in the country.
It also stressed the need for NCC to set up a framework through which internet service consumers can be compensated for poor services.
It mandated its Committee on Telecommunications to monitor the adherence to the resolution and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
In a motion on the issue, its sponsor, Busayo Oke (Osun-PDP) noted that poor service delivery by some providers had caused untold hardship to many Nigerians and their businesses.
“The trend must not be allowed to continue without an urgent action by the Federal Government to address the concern,“ he said. (NAN)