By Laide Akinboade
Minister of Communications and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, yesterday, itemized the agencies that would constitute the new Communication and Technology Ministry.
The Minister who stated this when she visited the Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NigComSat), said agencies that would be under her ministry includes the Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited which has been in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Nigeria Communications Commission, and the National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA).
NIGCOMSAT Limited is responsible for the operation and management of Nigerian Communications Satellites starting with NIGCOMSAT-1 which was launched in May 2007 and de-orbited after 11 months.
A replacement satellite, NIGCOMSAT-1R which has the same features but with a few modifications as NIGCOMSAT-1 is scheduled to be launched during the last quarter of 2011.
According to her, “NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Galaxy Backbone, NIPOST, NITDA, IT development and NCC had indeed come under the ministry through government directive but Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), would remain under the Ministry of Information and National Orientation.”
She assured the agency of the ministry support for the e-voting facility developed by engineers at NIGCOMSAT Ltd, promising that government would give greater attention to the many innovative devices produced by the agency. Omobola noted that the ministry would work hard to ensure that she works with stakeholders to build a strong ICT backbone infrastructure for the country.
She also promised to bring the ICT sector to the front burner of Nigeria’s economic development. Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Engr Rufai Ahmed, said the agency has developed at least five devices that were commercially viable.
He pledged to work with the private sector to ensure that the innovative devices are moved to the market. In preparation for the launch of NIGCOMSAT 1-R in December, he promised to convene a stakeholders meeting where the issue of marketing and utilization of the payloads of the satellite would be discussed.