Abuja - The House of Representatives on Thursday, mandated its committees on Telecommunication and Privatisation to investigate the liquidation and take over of Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) and Mobile Telecommunications (MTEL) by NATCOM.
The House gave eight weeks deadline for the committees to report back to it the outcome of their investigation for further legislative action.
The mandate followed a motion sponsored by Rep. Henry Nwawuba (Imo-PDP), which was unanimously adopted by members through voice vote.
Moving the motion, Nwawuba said that since the sale and subsequent take over of the two companies by NATCOM, there had been lots of controversies.
He said that there were issues of alleged under valuation of the two telecoms companies before they were sold to NATCOM.
Nwawuba expressed concern that in spite their huge revenue potential and ability to generate employment for the teeming unemployed citizens, MITEL and NITEL were not made to work.
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He said there was the need to resolve the issues surrounding the sale and take over of the two companies by NATCOM.
Contributing to the debate, Rep. Egwu Emmanuel (Kogi-PDP), stressed the need for members to support the investigation into the sale of the telecommunications outfits to maximise the resources of the country.
He also stressed the need for the federal government to have its own telecommunication company.
Emmanuel noted that though privatisation was aimed at making the operations of the companies efficient, the reverse had been the case since they were sold to NATCOM.
Rep. Leo Ogor, the Minority Leader, expressed optimism that the investigation would reveal the true position in the sale of MITEL and NITEL.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Public Petitions has adjourned till December 9 and 10 its investigative hearing on alleged corruption charges preferred against Danladi Umar, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
"In the spirit of fairness, it will be best if the petitioner is present to either defend or substantiate the evidence against him," Chairman of the committee, Rep. Uzoma Abonta (Abia-PDP) said while announcing the adjournment.
It would be recalled that a group known as Anti Corruption Network had petitioned the House on Nov. 10, alleging mismanagement of funds against the CCT Chairman.