The government removed Bangabandhu-1 satellite Project Director Golam Razzaque from duty on Monday, citing an inability to lead the project to satisfaction.
The Posts and Telecommunication Division made the decision as per the recommendation of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Posts and Telecommunication Division sources claimed there was lack of coordination under Razzaque, adding that his choices during recruitment of the Bangabandhu Satellite Company were also criticised.
According to the ministry, 80% of the work for the project has been completed.
In addition, ministry sources said that BTRC Director Md Mesbahuzzaman had been named as Razzaque’s replacement.
On November 11, 2015, the BTRC signed a Tk2,967 crore agreement with Thales Alenia Space, awarding the French firm a work order for manufacturing and launching the Bangabandhu-1 satellite.
Of the stipulated amount, Thales Alenia Space will provide TK1,652 crore while the rest is to be arranged by the Bangladesh government.
As per the agreement, Thales Alenia Space will manufacture, launch and maintain the satellite, which shall be used to provide communication and broadcast services.
Once the satellite is launched into orbit, it is expected to help save the country $14 million annually, while the government can make additional revenue by renting it out.
The government aims to launch the satellite on December 16, 2017, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Bangladesh’s victory in the Liberation War.