18th January, 2022
The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a second satellite to boost the country’s satellite communication system in 2022.
Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy disclosed this on Monday at a one-day working visit and interaction with the staff of the Nigerian Communications Satellite in Abuja.
Pantami said he had secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to procure another Communications satellite for the country.
“That approval of the federal government, which I have secured, has been forwarded to NIGCOMSAT. Now, it is on the table of the management of NIGCOMSAT to answer that question but I want to make sure that all work in progress must be completed in 2022,” he said.
He added that he had gone further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 budget.
The minister further stressed that he had approved the establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT, as part of the ongoing effort to revive the institution to the path of progress and productivity.
He said, “Since 2019, I have been so passionate about the success of NIGCOMSAT, starting with the suspension of the privatization of NIGCOMSAT.
“As a matter of fact, I have secured the approval of Mr President for purchasing another Satellite. I went further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 budget.
“I have also approved the establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT as part of efforts to revive the company and make it innovative and productive.”
The federal government in the 2022 budget earmarked N2.5bn for the NIGCOMSAT 2 project.
In 2017, the federal government announced plans to raise $550m for the construction of two new communications satellites for Nigeria, which the Chinese Export and Import Bank accepted to provide.
Speaking on the development in NITDA, Pantami said through innovative policies, NITDA’s revenue was increased from N7bn to N19bn annually.
He added, “We revived NITDA and the agency has become a reference point for any IT project.”