11 March 2020
TO WHOMSOEVER IT CONCERN
SEEKING REDRESSAL FROM Mr DUMEBI KACHIKWU FOR NON-PAYMENT OF N1 MEDIA’S DUES
With my 30 years of media experience across geographies as varied as Middle east, South East Asia, US and UK, my company N1 Media took up the offer to set up a multi-media platform for Promoter Dumebi Kachikwu of Platinum Plus TV at Abuja in Nigeria.
I signed a contract with Dumebi Kachikwu of Platinum Plus TV in good faith. The contract started in May 2018. A team from India was deployed directly under my supervision and that of my co-promoter who spent a lot of time in Abuja setting up operations for Roots TV, the brand name given to the project by Dumebi. Right from content formulation, digital strategy, local recruitment of Nigerian personnel, training, technical aspects were all done by my team under our direct supervision.
Operating out of a makeshift set up from a villa in Maitama area, Abuja, we were able to redefine the content landscape to a great extent. Our rich and varied India and international experience of Launching broadcast/digital networks held in good stead as we broke the mould. There was intense focus on creating content that was sharp, report driven, interviews where direct questions were asked.
Roots TV was suddenly noticed and applauded. The views and subscriber base increased. Content spoke for itself before June 2019 on their website. During Nigeria’s general elections – (Feb to May), our team delivered ground breaking content and led the local newsroom team in putting together innovative coverage.
As the operations got smoother, our monthly payments were held up. It became routine matter to sit on a 3-month payment cycle. There were other unreasonable demands made regarding induction of human resource and working on simultaneous projects for launch of a media school, film city and radio station, which were way beyond the purview of the contract The India crew was broken up and co-opted in direct violation of the agreement. Matters reached a head when our monthly retainer was held back for 4 months running. Also, despite each and every air ticket being approved prior to travel, payment has not been made to the travel agent for up to seven tickets.
Without any warning our contract was terminated verbally in an internal meeting in May 2019 in our absence. This despite him in an internal meeting (on video) praising the Indian team and telling the Roots TV staff that the project would not have come so far without our direction. Till date, there had been NO written communication saying the contract was over. Repeated reminders via mail, calls and texts elicited no response.
This not only gives Nigeria a bad name but also exposes frailties in the system as it is being abused and manipulated.
I bring this to your notice in the hope of getting redressal and creating awareness.
During the course of our stint in Nigeria, we interacted with several of Mr. Kachikwu’s vendors – architects, contractors, set designers, broadcast equipment manufacturers, systems integrators and who have unpalatable stories to tell.
We have worked in Bangladesh, Pakistan, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia,Kuwait and never encountered issues like the one we have in Abuja.
We want justice and redressal. We also appeal to Nigerian authorities to create a conducive climate for overseas consultants to work there without fearing criminal contempt and being defrauded.
Documentary proof with us:
1. Signed Contract
2. Video recording of Mr. Kachikwu publicly acknowledging the work done by us
3. Proof on whatsapp of air tickets approved by Mr. Kachikwu
4. Monthly and biweekly updates on email of work done by us and our team
5. Proof of demands to work on projects over than TV stations as well as proof of work delivered by us
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