Nigeria plans to launch a second satellite (Sat 2) into orbit to expand the country’s satellite communications capacity. Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy says that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the purchase of the satellite.
Pantami announced during a one-day working visit to the Nigerian Communications Satellite staff in Lugbe, Abuja. He also stated that he had gone further to lobby the Minister of Finance to include this in the 2022 budget.
The existing Sat1R, launched in 2011 and has a 15-year life cycle, will be phased out in four years.
A few years ago, the Nigerian government had announced plans to raise US$550 million for the construction of two new communications satellites, which the Chinese Export and Import Bank agreed to fund.
According to NIGCOMSAT (the government agency in charge of satellite communications services in Nigeria), the loan from the Chinese bank followed representation by Nigeria that it could not afford the 15 per cent counterpart funding required to access it for the construction of the two new communications satellites.
In addition, the Minister stated that he had approved the establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT as part of the continuous endeavour to bring the organisation back to a position of advancement and productivity.
Pantami reminded the company’s employees that innovation isn’t enough and needs to be improved, challenging them to turn the institution around to justify the proposed privatisation suspension plan.
“Core values should be the guiding principle that we must adopt without compromise to ensure the success of any institution,” the Minister stated. You must be customer-centric, identify service failures before they become apparent, correct the problem, and come up with inventive approaches. The agency’s creativity is insufficient and has to be improved,” the Minister concluded.