Nigeria is set to launch the second satellite (Sat 2) into the orbit to boost the nation’s satellite communications’ capacity.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, at a one-day working visit and interactions with staff of Nigerian satellite Communications in Abuja.
According to Vanguard, the minister hinted that he had secured the approval of President Mohammadu Buhari for purchasing of the satellite.
He noted that he had gone further to lobby the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to ensure this was included in the 2022 Budget.
The existing Sat1R, which was launched in 2011 with a life span of 15 years, will expire in the next four years.
The federal government had earmarked the sum of N2.5billion for the satellite 2 project in the 2022 budget estimate.
The federal government had in 2017 announced plans to raise $550m required for the construction of two new communications satellites for Nigeria, which the Chinese Export and Import Bank accepted to provide.
Also, the minister 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.
“Since 2019, I have been so passionate about the success of NIGCOMSAT. Starting with the suspension of the privatisation of NIGCOMSAT. As a matter of fact, I have secured the approval of Mr President for purchasing of 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,” he said.
“It is a difficult task to revive an institution and make it very successful, that you must make. The challenge of reviving NIGCOMSAT is not just a necessity but an obligation for all the staff,” he added.