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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Nigeria, China sign new deal on NigComSAT-1R

•Reps applaud.
Nigeria, weekend, signed a new deal with China for the replacement of the faulty communications satellite-1 tagged NigComSAT-1R, at the cost of $157m, about N23.1 billion at the instance of China.

This is coming as House of Representatives has canvassed support for NigComSAT, saying that if well managed, revenue accruing to the nation via the investment will surpass that of oil and gas.

The latest deal which was consummated in China saw the Nigerian team led by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Alhassan Bako Zaku and Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NigComSat) Chief Executive, Mr. Ahmed Rufai signing on behalf of Nigeria, while China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) President, Mr. Yin Liming, endorsed for the Chinese government.

House of Representatives’ Committee on Science and Technology, Chairman, Mr. Abiodun Akinlade and his deputy, Mr. Ibrahim Khalid were at hand to witness the new deal in Beijing, China.

Commenting on the development, Akinlade noted that revenues from satellite communications could upsurge proceeds from oil and gas if the country invested in not only the provision of satellite backbones, mostly for the science and technology evolution.

ITRealms Online recalls that NigComSAT-1, the Africa’s only communication satellite developed fault last November.

Both Akinlade and Khalid agreed at an interactive session with journalists at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Beijing expressed conviction that satellite communications holds great potentials for the nation’s economy and would re-focus the country from unwholesome dependence on the crude oil export to the more endearing communication satellite industry with its potential to help the country effectively cross the digital divide.

“Nigeria started on satellite technology too late. Our coming to China has opened our eyes to see the great value satellite can add to any country’s economy. Besides generating many jobs, it helps in healthcare delivery through telemedicine, in electronic education, security surveillance, telecommunications services and many others,” said Akinlade, stressing that Nigeria’s undue reliance on oil and gas revenue have proven to be economically retrogressive.

He also said that Nigeria as a nation should give other aspects of national life a chance to thrive.

“That is our candid opinion to Nigeria and if we adopt satellite communication and promote same, we are most likely to derive more benefits from it than oil,” Akinlade declared and urged the federal government to increase the budgetary allocations on science and technology.

According to him, government current financial investment on science and technology was too meager and insufficient to generate the desired impact.

“We came to China at the instance of the House of Representatives. Now, we have seen and submit that if Nigeria is to be taken seriously, there should be adequate funding for science and technology.

The lawmakers said that because of lack of information flow originally from the NigComSat group, public perception was distorted.

“Nobody knew what was going on until the satellite failed. Then, we were mandated by the entire house to investigate the circumstances leading to the fall of NIGCOMSAT-1 and we have been able to get to the root cause of the problems.

In fact, the Chinese people have also thrown some more light on the circumstances that led to the fall. We have been able to identify that it was a technical error, not human. So we understand it better now and are conscious of the potentials it has for Nigeria,” he said.

For his colleague, Khalid, the Committee was in China to investigate the circumstances of the failure that led to the de-orbiting of NIGCOMSAT-1 and the possibility of China becoming a trusted ally in Nigeria’s satellite aspiration.

“Unknown to many Nigerians, the Chinese satellite industry has been around for well over 40 years and has recorded far more successes than those of the West. We were here to ascertain whether the Chinese have the capacity to partner with us on the project,” he assertion, pointing out that it’s a good news that China agreed to foot the entire replacement bill of $157m and that is very great.

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2 comments:

pepellini said...

Has any one ever bought a car made in China?

Has anyone ever bought a plane made in China?

You buy mass produced products from China because they are cheap and disposable.

Nigeria has bought a cheap disposable satellite !!!!

pepellini said...

I'm sorry but i have to say more.

"Beijing expressed conviction that satellite communications holds great potentials for the nation’s economy and would re-focus the country from unwholesome dependence on the crude oil export to the more endearing communication satellite industry with its potential to help the country effectively cross the digital divide."

Follow me:

1) We can't drill, and refine crude oil without foreign companies(shame).

2) China knows we'll be back, Nigeria has a notorious history of not maintaining any infer-structure set up by foreigners.(we'll see)

3) There goes N23.1 billion we could have pumped into education.(we're never launching our own Sat. at this rate)