Ã¢â‚¬Â¦To launch backup NIGCOMSAT 2 & 3 soon
With the re-launch of the Nigeria Communication Satellite NIGCOMSAT-1R scheduled for December 2011, over $450 million spent annually for the purchase of and importation of bandwidth from Europe and America to facilitate internet access, telephony and broadcasting would be retained and used for economic development.
Itta Bassey Ewa, minister of science and technology, who drop the hint in Abuja Thursday at the NIGCOMSATÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stakeholdersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ conference for NigComsat-1R, posited that it would reduce the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s overdependence on oil and create additional revenue streams.
The minister noted that Africa has become an important continent with huge economic prospects, but is currently experiencing huge demand for bandwidth as it attempts to make a shift towards an information society.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The markets of Europe and North America are more or less saturated, while Africa offers a new and virtually untapped market,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, stressing that sub-Saharan African alone contains 10 percent of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s population but only 0.2 percent of the one billion telephone lines.
The minister, who was represented by Abdulwahab Jimoh, director of ICT in the ministry, said Nigeria is poised to take advantage of untapped assets in the ICT sector on the continent through the re-launch of the satellite.
While noting with concern that NIGCOMSAT-1launched in 2004 was de-orbited in 2008 due to solar array challenges, the minister said the loss was deeply felt because, in the absence of backup satellites, a vacuum was created in the services being rendered by the company.