Following a series of negative media campaigns against the Integrated Television Services (ITS) and instigated probe of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) project, the Pinnacle Communications maybe positioning itself to acquire the company, as the sole signal distributor.
The Integrated Television Services was unbundled from the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) as a commercial entity in September, 2015. However, having successfully migrated Nigeria from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in June this year, the company has come under tremendous pressure mounted by those who want to seemingly rip off the people and government of Nigeria from the monumental benefits that accrue in the new broadcast technology.
The current move to acquire the company can be gleaned from a report of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee, which investigated the DSO project at the instance of the Pinnacle Communications, and which is trending on the internet for ulterior motives of profiling the ITS and its management of wrong doing in the handling of the project, which from all indications, is a resounding success in areas of its coverage.
Apparently, the report had been posted on the social media by those behind the plot even when it had not been adopted by the Committee, nor discussed at the House at plenary, contrary to the standing rules of the House of Representatives.
The report, which can be described as a Pinnacle Communications Compendium, appeared to have completely ignored all submissions made by the ITS to the committee at the public hearing containing details of its mandate set out in the Presidential Advisory Committee whitepaper, as the major signal distributor with the Digital Switch Over, DSO, project, and seems instead to have adopted wholesale, the position held by the Pinnacle Communications which was meant to project it as a prospective undertaker of ITS, even allegedly without requisite capacity, capital and knowledge of the complex nature of the digital broadcast template for Nigeria.
The 18-page document seemed to have made some curious recommendations in favour of the Pinnacle Communications thereby unwittingly exposing the plot to position the company as better placed to manage ITS, as it called for a review of ITS operation and attempted to discredit the present ITS management through alleged manipulation of facts and figures to apparently suit a preconceived objective.
It is not clear what role the chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee and his secretary played in the suspected plot, but informed sources have alleged of a possible collusion between some committee members and chief executive of Pinnacle Communication who we learnt enjoy very cosy relationship together.
But majority of the 13-member committee, headed by Hon. Sunday Marshal Katung, that were contacted have allegedly distanced themselves from the report which is purportedly written in their names, claiming that only a few of them who accompanied the Pinnacle Communications CEO to a United States trip of recent were privy to the said report.
It could be recalled that Pinnacle Communications had bided to supply some of the components of the equipment required by the ITS for signal distribution to subscribers but lost the bid to due diligence as the awarding authorities allegedly found it lacking in both capacity and knowledge to handle such a highly technical job.
The House of Representatives may have to thread softly on this report to avoid being stampeded or used as a rubber stamp by people with vested interests in the suspected plot against the Integrated Television Services (ITS) and its management.