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No going back on back-up satellites – Minister

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… We’re committed in repositioning NIGCOMSAT – Moghalu

Shittu adebayo
Shittu Adebayo

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The federal government, yesterday reiterated the commitment of federal government to acquire additional back-up satellites to reposition the Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT limited for a better service delivery.

The minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu made the pledge when the governing board of the agency paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

He said it was unfortunate that a lot of people over the years have not really appreciated what NIGCOMSAT stands for and is for the Nigerian fledging economy, and as such receive little or no patronage from both the public and private organizations, who patronize foreign satellite for their services.

He however, vowed that the ministry would continue to work hard to come up with a new approach towards funding the project without unduly affecting other government needs.

Recall that the minister had earlier disclosed that the ministry needed about N550m to acquire two additional satellites to serve as back-up for the Nigeria’s only Communications Satellite.

‘‘It is unfortunate that a lot of people over the years have not really appreciated what NIGCOMSAT is doing and stand for the Nigerian fledging economy, and such receive little or no patronage from the public and private organizations, who patronize foreign satellite for their services.

‘‘NIGCOMSAT, even though, is a business is such an important entity because it was set up to provide true intervention facilities for satellite communications. But because of the capital-intensive nature of bringing about such services, the potentials of the agency had not been optimally explored.’’

‘‘We should see the mission of NIGCOMSAT as a rescue mission because this is one establishment government has spent a lot of money on. We have to make due with only one satellite in the orbit. We have been working tirelessly to have two more satellites in the orbit. By which time we can really enforce companies and established business to patronize the services.

‘‘That is still the challenge we are working on. Before the end of end of this administration, we would have attained that. Despite the delayed visit, we were able to discuss very number of substantial issues. We also resolved to take certain major steps to encourage the business of NIGCOMSAT.

‘‘We are reaching new heights, new break through, I believe in one month or so, we will be able to address Nigerians on what we have achieved and what we are working on, which would certainly change the face of satellite operations in Nigeria,’’ he added.

He further urged Nigerians to patronize NIGCOMSAT to become one of the most preferred satellite companies on the continent of Africa.

Earlier in his address, the chairman of the board, Chief George Moghalu said the board is on a mission to reposition the satellite agency into its rightful place and make it a world-class satellite operator.

‘‘We have come to show appreciation for the support we have consistently received from the minister and his team in our effort to reposition NIGCOMSAT, to place it where it should be in the committee of satellite communication all over the world.

‘‘It is also an opportunity to thank the minister for the representative he sent for the three-day retreat organized for by the agency to share their visions and missions, found out the feelings of the people and engage them, get their commitment to key into our desire and make it what it should be.

‘‘Also thanked the President for the confident he reposed in the board to reposition it for it to occupy its rightful place.’’

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