China agrees to pay $550 million for Nigerian satellites – Minister

Spy satellite used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: Mirror.co.uk]

The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, on Wednesday updated President Muhammadu Buhari on the approved procurement of two new satellites from China at the cost of $550 million.

Speaking to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with the president in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Mr. Shittu said the China EXIM bank had agreed to pay the entire $550 million for the procurement of the satellites.

The minister explained that the initial agreement was that the China EXIM bank would provide 85 per cent of the total cost ($550 million) while Nigeria would pay the remaining 15 per cent as counterpart funding for the projects.

He, however, stated that as Nigeria could not be able to meet her obligation in paying the counterpart funding, the agreement was renegotiated with the China EXIM bank and the manufacture of the satellites, the China Great Walls.

“I’m in the Presidency to see Mr. President and to brief him on three major issues.

“One, NICOMSAT, which is one of our agencies where we hope to procure two new satellites from China.

“Initially the agreement was that they will provide the cost of the two satellites, $550 million minus 15 per cent which is the counterpart funding.

“Because we could not afford this 15 percent, we have renegotiated with the China EXIM Bank and the China Great Walls who are the manufacturers and they have happily agreed to pay the entire $550 million to procure two new satellites,’’ he said.

The minister stated that the new satellites would ensure that the Nigerian satellite company (NICOMSAT) would conquer the entire African continent in regard to the provision of satellite communication services.

He said that the Chinese had appreciated the potential market that existed in the satellite business in Nigeria and the African continent.

“”This is a very big business opportunity and I am sure that the Chinese appreciate the potential market which is so vast and that is why they have agreed that even without our ability to contribute 15 per cent they are prepared to pay the entire sum of $550 million for the procurement of the two new satellites for Nigeria,’’ he added.

Mr. Shittu revealed that the production of the satellites would commence immediately the final agreements were signed.

He said: “It takes two years to produce because it is when we sign the papers they will start production.

“We hope that before the end of this month we will sign the papers and then they will commence the production. It is the completion of the production that the two satellites will be launched.’’

He added that Nigeria had nothing to lose because the country would not put anything into the project in terms of financial resources.

“The president was excited and was not surprised because the Chinese are not just going to market our satellite to the entire African continent but also perhaps by legislation insists that all Nigerian entities must patronize the Nigerian satellite company rather than going to Israel, UK, US for satellite services.

“Now we can say by our local content policy we must patronize Nigeria,’’ he said

“The major issue is not about employment but by providing satellite services to all companies which require it.

“Currently most Nigerian companies and even Nigerian government establishments patronize foreign satellite companies. So the first thing is that we want to make profit, we want to capture the local market and we also want to capture the African market,’’ he added.

The Minister also said he informed the President that he had been appointed as national chairman of the board of trustees of Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group.

Mr. Shittu, who described President Buhari as “Saviour’’ of Nigerians, said the South-west zonal office of the campaign organisation of Buhari-Osinbajo would be inaugurated on January 20.

“Every day since he came into office all his activities are geared towards letting Nigeria know that they have a saviour, a rescuer, somebody who is committed to providing relief for Nigerians in all respects.

“These include fighting corruption, insurgency; whether in the North East or the Niger Delta; in the area of repairing the economy and providing jobs and providing social stability in the society.

“You will agree with me that today but for Buhari Boko Haram would have invaded even Lagos.’’

The minister, who disclosed that President Buhari was yet to indicate interest on whether he will seek re-election in 2019, said his ardent supporters would continue to pressure him to seek re-election to enable him complete his good works to Nigerians.

He added: “It goes without saying I mean if you have a child who goes to primary school does well, proceeds to secondary school does well, and you keep asking is he going to university?

“By the grace of God, we his ardent supporters who appreciate his worth on behalf of millions of Nigerians, would urge him to re-contest.

“”I know he has not made up his mind but I can say that some of us can assist him in making up his mind so that Nigeria can continue to enjoy stability and progress in our land.’’

(NAN)


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  • thusspokez

    Are these stationary satellite? And does the price include the cost of building the spacecraft or just building the satellite and launching them? Why are they so expensive. And what happened to the other Nigerian satellites currently in orbit?

    These satellites would be built, launched, and managed by a foreign power on behave of Nigeria. Apart from corruption, what exactly are Nigerians good at? And what do the Chinese get in return?

    Both parties will agree on a percentage share, Shittu said, adding that Nigeria “has nothing to lose because we are not putting anything into it in terms of financial resources.”

    Shouldn’t this raise suspicion as to why the Chinese are doing this for free?

  • FreeNigeria

    Hmmmmmm, scary, very scary. What’s China gaining from paying 100% for the satellite? And this brain dead bastardo minister is heralding this as a good news.

    • Ayekoto

      Total Hogwash. ‘Greek Gift’

      • Myth

        the trojan horse gift

  • Pluti

    Obasanjo did the first one without making a big deal out of it, now Nigeria has to leave the cost of manufacturing and launching 2 communication satellites to the Chinese; a foreign government that is known globally to spy on its citizens! Is Nigeria this broke or it’s just poor management of the economy?

  • Ayekoto

    “Nigeria has nothing to loss because we are not putting anything into it in terms of financial resources” Here this from a Minister of Federal Republic??? Dumb Ass

  • Ayekoto

    Excellent! Now, in order to”promote Nigerian business” they will forbid Nigerians from using the most effective satellite solution and instead must buy from a single vendor…. Can somebody find a junior economist to explain the facts of Life to these people who are determined to mortgage future of our children for little gains?

    • Zion Felix

      lol….welcome to Nigeria….where leadership=self gain for me,my kids&Family..screw everyone else.

  • Zion Felix

    I worry for the future of Nigeria…..why we are so weak minded, ruled by greed, self interest and this culture of self hate is beyond me…this genius just said we got nothing to lose lol….I’m sure china is just a sweet philanthropic nation throwing 550Mil to build satellite for gullible ole nigeria.