Nigerian officials say communications satellites can spur economic development in the country by stemming the flight of millions of dollars in capital through the purchase of foreign bandwidth, Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper reported Aug. 3.
Minister of Science and Technology Okon Ewa urged investors to support the development initiative by backing NigComSat-1R — a replacement for NigComSat-1, which was deorbited after a mishap on its solar panel in 2008 — along with NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3. He said Nigeria spends $450 million a year on foreign bandwidth.
At the beginning of a July 28 conference on the future of the Nigerian satellite industry, NigComSat CEO Engr Ahmed Rufai touted the benefits of NigComSat-1R, suggesting it would drive a national technological revolution by affordably meeting the nation’s telecommunications, broadcast, aviation, maritime, defense, security and revenue diversification needs. NigComSat-1R is scheduled to be launched later this year.