NigComSat’s $150m Satellite Procurement Under Threat

Negotiations for over $150 million Chinese loan for procurement of back-up satellite in the orbit by the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat), might have been abandoned due to technical hitches.

The backup satellite is meant to strengthen the commercial operations of NigComSat and was one of the projects tabled before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration by the former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.

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However, it was gathered that parties privy to the loan arrangements could not conclude negotiations on the matter before the desolution of the previous Federal Executive Council (FEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The new Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Pantami has not been fully briefed on the matter, a source said on Tuesday.

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But NigComSat is going ahead with other projects that would support its infrastructures and bolster its commercial operations in the space business.

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It has voted N112.1 million for improvement of security solutions for teleport, while the upgrading of its Satellite Control Centre would gulp N105 million, according to the outlines of its 2020 budget.

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The breakdown of the 2020 budget also showed that about N369 million would be committed by the Agency to the overhauling of Radio Frequency and Hub Infrastructures, while its Public Access Satellite TV Channel would gulp N92.4 million.

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