The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has disclosed that the Federal Government plans to purchase two additional satellites for Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat) at the cost of $550 million.
Shittu disclosed this yesterday while speaking with newsmen at the end of the 4th National Council on Communication Technology meeting in Kaduna. He said the federal government was already negotiating with China EXIM Bank for the purchase of the two additional satellites for storage of data.
According to him, efforts are being made to procure two additional communication satellites to complement the existing NigComSat as a means of reaching areas that cannot easily be covered by terrestrial fibre.
“We need just about 550 million dollars to acquire two new satellites; we are already negotiating with China EXIM Bank, who had assured us that they will deliver the money. We will negotiate and procure extra satellites for NigComSat, so that there will be adequate back up for and once this done whatever data is stored in one satellite will equally be shared by the two or three satellites. With that, there will not be fear of any problem because there will be enough data collection centre and there will be reliability.”
The minister said once there is adequate backup, all government institutions, agencies and ministries must necessarily patronise NigComSat. He said a lot of the country’s money was being exported out to sustain other economy through data storage, according to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report.
“Once we are sure that we have three satellites then we can beat our chest that nobody would take Nigeria money outside for the purpose of storing data”, he added..
Shittu also said government intends to secure state-of-the-art mobile equipment that will be deployed to enforce compliance and also enable the detection, location and blocking of illegal users of spectrum. “Effective radio spectrum monitoring would assist with intelligence gathering and support the security agencies in enhancing security and safety of citizens and the nation in general”, he said.
The minister pointed out that government has worked assiduously on setting the proper policy and strategic environment for the development of ICT in the country. According to him, the Federal Government will expand its investments in ICT infrastructure to extend connectivity to unserved and underserved areas.
“In this regard, attention will be paid to the issue of multiple taxation of ICT infrastructure and we are working to have ICT infrastructure designated as Critical National Infrastructure. We are also working to make more investments in building the capacity and harnessing the talents of our youth.
“In particular, we are increasing Accelerators and Incubator programmes as a means of building and harnessing the capacity of our increasingly ICT savvy youth population”, he added.