Nigeria needs more satellites to deepen broadband penetration – Minister
The Minister for Communications, Barr. Abdur-Adebayo Shittu says Nigeria currently requires more satellites to enable the ComSat-1R offer better serves to Nigeria in the areas of telecommunications services and broadband penetration. The Minister made the position known in Abuja at the National Assembly special sectoral debate on the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
The Minister noted that NIGCOMSAT Limited which currently operates only one satellite (NigComSat-1R) needs to improve its fleet to enhance customer confidence and enable the company effectively compete in the sector. The National Assembly debate which was to showcase the impact of all ministries on the Nigerian economy was informed by the Minister of Communications that NIGCOMSAT Ltd patronage by ministries and agencies of government is yet to improve significantly as would be desired because it operates a lone satellite as these MDAs utilise foreign satellites at huge cost to the country. He further stated that Nigerians and business interests in the country patronise foreign satellite operators who own multiple satellites in the orbit.
The Minister also reiterated the need for the National Assembly to make laws that will assist the agency play the critical role in contributing to national socio-economic development and growth especially in the ICT sector. Improvement in the fleet, he said, will assist and ensure that agencies of government, Nigerians and the International business concerns will also patronise the satellite. He also regretted that broadcasting agencies in the country both privately and government owned rely on foreign satellites for the broadcasting of their programmes.
This can be achieved by NIGCOMSAT Ltd and more so, with an improve fleet, the Minister emphasised. In his contribution, the House Committee Chairman on ICT, Hon Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo also expressed concern on the need for more utilisation of Nigerian own communications satellite and urged the Minister to prioritise the launching of more communications satellites in the interest of the nation. VANGUARD