" ITREALMS: NigComSAT-1, a technical tragedy – ATCON

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NigComSAT-1, a technical tragedy – ATCON

... Urges work on NigComSAT-2

UMBRELLA body of telecommunications companies in the country, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), has described the failed Nigerian Communications Satellite-1 (NigComSAT-1) as a technical tragedy, urging that the Federal Government (FG) should commence work on NigComSat-2.

Speaking in Lagos, the National President of ATCON, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said that the nation needed to start the processes on NigComSAT-2 immediately on learning about the failure of NigComSAT-1, which was reportedly parked after developing charging fault, prior to November 10, 2008 when the government owned up.

Ekuwem said that Nigeria must start process toward the actualization of the NigComSAT-2 without further delay.

However, he advised that before then, government must truly unravel the cause of the failure of NigComSAT-1, warning that the incident should not deter the government from investing in future satellite projects.

“No nation shies away from challenges. We should proceed to NigComSAT-2 provided we unravel the cause of the failure of NigComSAT-1,” he said.

Reviewing 2008, ATCON president also noted that Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is about provision of broadband for the populace and NigComSAT would play a vital role in this regard.

He pointed out that currently, Nigeria is celebrating voice, maintaining that broadband is the next application to boost economic productivity, while lamenting that till date, Nigeria is not known to have produced completely any part of ICT tools.

Ekuwem further canvassed for the usage of the so-called area boys and girls for development.

“They must be used to change the face of our economy,” he declared, calling for adaptation of franchise, citing Virgin Mobile in the United Kingdom as a franchise company that merely resells airtime to the end users.

As said by him, by adapting to franchise in the country, ICT firms would help immensely in taking developmental diffusion to the rural areas.

“We want every nook and cranny to have service,” he said.

Additionally, he disclosed that ATCON would focus on education of its members through a workshop that would raise some pertinent issues.

He wondered how many engineering students could write correct English proposal, saying that with the advent of the global village, the world has become one job market.

“I would like to dedicate this last tenure to mentoring,” he said.

Equally, he said, that ATCON plans to organize two stakeholders forum and ComBIT, emphasizing that one of the workshops would focus on global financial crisis as it affects ICT.

“Experts would use the platform to react to what is on ground. Are we ready if America cuts its crude import? Are we saving for the rainy day?” he said.
Pointing out that the issue at stake is not that of population as the likes of Island and Japan do not produce oil.

“Nigerians are intellectually sound, so it’s in our own best national interest to use our oil money on ICT development,” he said.

Ekuwem further disclosed that the theme for ComBIT 2009 would be “ICT for Development.”

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