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FG to launch second satellite before December —Pantami

Ebuka Daniel

The Federal Government plans to launch a second satellite to boost the country’s satellite communication system in 2022.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this during a one-day working visit and interaction with the staff of the Nigerian Communications Satellite in Abuja on Monday.

According to the minister, he had secured the approval of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to purchase another Communications satellite for the country.

He said, “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.”

The minister also said that he had gone further to lobby the Minister of Finance to ensure that this is included in the 2022 budget.

The minister further said 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 establishment of some subsidiaries under NIGCOMSAT as part of efforts to revive the company and make it innovative and productive.”

In the 2022 budget, the federal government 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.”

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