Nigeria may privatise NigComSat by 2018, says Minister

Omobola Johnson, Hon. Minister of Information Technology. [Photo:]

The Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, on Thursday said the Federal Government will invite private investors to buy into the Nigerian Communications Satellite, NigComSat, if all things go as planned.

The Minister, who spoke in Lagos at the 4th Information and Communications Technology, ICT, industry forum organised by the ministry, said the plan might become a reality by 2018.

She said the arrangement would involve working in partnership with other satellite owners to x-ray avenues to increase the viability of NigComSat.

She also said NigComSat-1R, the country’s satellite launched in 2011, had increased its commercial value through the generation of revenue for government.

“The revenue was generated through the leasing of five KU transponders, C-Band, broadband sale and leasing of Direct to Home (DTH) platform to private strategic partner, she said.

Ms. Johnson said ongoing projects are being designed as an avenue to increase revenues from government asset, adding that the lease of its KA transponders was being planned for first quarter of 2015.

She said that in connecting Nigerians, NigComSat had complemented the fiber/terrestrial networks in Nigeria for the deployment of broadband networks in the rural areas and other sectors.

According to her, it included sectors like security, health, education, agriculture and other applications with wide ranging geopolitical distribution.

NigComSat, which is the satellite service provider company, would also be a key partner during the upcoming transfer from analogue to digital, adding that TV channel broadcast migration project would also depend on partners like NigComSat. (NAN)

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