The House of Representatives on Wednesday began a novel move, mandating its Committee on Information Technology to review the activities of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT 1) as well reconcile it with National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA), another agency with similar functions.
The rivalry over supremacy between the two agencies set up to improve the country’s communication networks has rather impacted negatively hence making the move of the lawmakers necessary so as to reactivate NIGCOMSAT 1 to enable it meet the country’s huge communications needs.
In resolution that were spurred by a motion entitled “Need to Investigate the Status of Nigeria’s Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT 1) “ sponsored by Toby Okechukwu (Enugu- PDP) 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 stations that could broadcast simultaneously on one transponder and support over 168 television stations at the same time.
“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.
This fell on the Committee on Telecommunications which is expected 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.