Chams Shuts Operations, Holds NIMC Responsible for Action

No Comments » August 22nd, 2015 posted by // Categories: Science & Technology



Chams Shuts Operations, Holds NIMC Responsible for Action

22 Aug 2015

Emma Okonji

The Founding Managing Director of Chams Plc, Mr. Demola Aladekomo has alleged that the Chams City Project, spread across Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin City and Lagos, are folding up, having gone bankrupt as a result of its intellectual property and technical partners allegedly stolen by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Chams Plc recently shut its operations in Benin City, Abuja, and Port Harcourt and later shutdown the remaining operations in Lagos last week, owing to its state of bankruptcy.

Lamenting the situation, which has put thousands of Nigerians out of job, Aladekomo blamed it on the action of the management of NIMC, which he said, stole the intellectual property and technical partners of Chams, and rendered Chams bankrupt.

Although he said Chams had gone to court to challenge the action of NIMC, he alleged that NIMC, as a federal government agency, is using the federal myth to frustrate the company  and deny it of justice.

Narrating the ordeal of Chams, Aladekomo said Chams had a concession agreement with NIMC in 2007, to produce National Identify Cards for Nigeria, which was approved by the former President Olusegun Obadanjo, but that NIMC deliberately delayed it for three years.

“During the period of delay, Chams went to the capital market to raise N8.4 billion, in addition to the company’s savings of N800 million and invested all the amount in building Chams City registration centres in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin City, and Lagos and equipped them with computer systems, with each centre having over 1,000 computer systems. Apart from the buildings, Chams also employed staff in all the centres and built Identity Card Plant in Abuja, which has the capacity to produce 1.75 million identity cards in a day. In addition to that, Chams also built the biggest switch in the whole of Africa, in Abuja, Nigeria, to assist in payment system transactions for the National Identity Card project,” Aladekomo told THISDAY.
According to him, as at 2008, all the centres were ready in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, and Lagos, in addition to the card plant and switching centre, but that NIMC decided to sabotage its efforts by asking Chams in 2012, to submit all its design for the national identity card project, its intellectual property like the software design, including its technical partners for the purpose of verification, which Aladekomo said Chams gladly did. After a few weeks, it discovered that NIMC was already talking with its technical partners like MasterCard and in 2013, NIMC corroborated with President Goodluck Jonathan to officially announce MasterCard as the technical partner of NIMC on the national identity card project, “after NIMC got N30 billion from the federal government on the national identity card project.”
He alleged that since then, NIMC severed its business relationship with Chams, a situation, he explained, forced Chams into bankruptcy.

Aladekomo said he was spending N500 million in maintaining the centres in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Benin City, and was paying staff salaries, without getting support from NIMC.

He said at a point, he could no longer fund the centres, since they were not generating money and decided to shut its operations in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin City. Then, last week, it decided to shut the remaining centre in Lagos, which invariably, has put several Nigerians out of job.

When contacted to respond to the allegation leveled against NIMC, its Director-General, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, declined.

Chams Plc is Nigeria’s foremost ICT firm, renowned for providing a variance of qualitative products and services in the digital arena. The company which began operations in 1985 as a privately-owned business, specialising in computer maintenance, has over the years, successfully migrated to the developing enterprise technology solutions, initiating several ground-breaking accomplishments and has remained the industry’s leading player. Its core objective right from inception has been to create and deploy innovative and beneficial technologies for the betterment of Nigeria. It is line with this objective that the company created another trailblazer project called ChamsCity.
ChamsCity was a technological project conceived and developed after its parent company, Chams Plc won a hugely competitive bid for a concessional agreement to develop and syndicate the process of identity management during the twilight of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency in 2007.


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