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Nigerian Govt to launch 2nd satellite in orbit – Pantami

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Pantami

 

 

Nigeria is to launch a second satellite (Sat 2) into the orbit to boost the nation’s satellite communications’ capacity.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, who disclosed this at a one-day working visit and interactions with staff of Nigerian satellite Communications, Abuja, said he had secured the approval of President Mohammadu Buhari for purchasing of the satellite.

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He also disclosed 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.

Though the Minister refused to disclosed the amount approved and how many satellites would be purchased, it was gathered that the federal government earmarked the sum of N2.5 billion for Satellite 2 project in the 2022 budget estimate.

The existing Sat1R, which was launched in 2011 with a life span of 15 years, will expire in the next four years.

Recall that the federal government had in 2017, 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.

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According to NIGCOMSAT, the approval of the Chinese bank followed representation by Nigeria that it could not afford the 15 per cent counterpart funding required for the country to access the loan of $550m for the construction of the two new communications satellites.

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.

Speaking on the revolution in NITDA, Pantami said through innovative policies and implementation, he succeeded in raising NITDA revenue from N7 billion to N19 billion annually, an agency that was supposed to be scrapped according to Oronsaye Report.

“We revived NITDA and the agency has become a reference point for any IT project,’’ Pantami said.

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On NIMC, the minister said he had also secured the approval of N25 billion for the agency’s infrastructure upgrade.

“Look at NIMC and what we have achieved, the NIN environment since inception of National Identity Card to 2020 when i assumed supervision of the commission even after billions have been spent was below 30 million, and this is direct enrollment without leveraging on any database.

“Before I assumed supervision, the annual enrollment used to be around 1.5 to 2million but between October 2020 to December 2021, we increased the NIN environment by 30 million in using the obsolete infrastructure. Mr President has approved N25 billion for the infrastructure but till today, no money has been released from October 2020 to date but we are still doing the work, that is why thinking outside the box is necessary.

“The achievement of this one year has been better than the previous 10 years and within that 10 years there was a time N100 billion was released but this one no single Kobo was released to us. As the DG of NITDA, I increased the revenue generation of NITDA from N7 billion annually to N19 billion. Leverage on the opportunity and turn things around.

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“Before I became the Minister, there was an Orunsanye report that recommended that NITDA should be scrapped and that the IT clearance should be given to Galaxy Backbone but today nobody is talking about scrapping of NITDA because the institution has turned things around.

“If you turn things around, you will go back and sleep but if you fail, you will be struggling So the challenge is on your table, the earlier you use 2022 and make NIGCOMSAT better the better for all of you but if you fail to do that, many people are there waiting for me to go so that they can execute their agenda.

“2022 is the best year for you to turn things around but if you fail to do that, it will be the worst year for you I don’t pray for that, I pray for the best for you but you must get your priority right,” he said.

 

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