In line with its plan to use the recently launched Nigeria Communications Satellite to revolutionise Information and Communications Technology penetration in Nigeria, government at the weekend unfolded a string of programmes towards achieving the goal.
Top on the list is the drive to use the satellite to boost government’s e-governance and e-learning agenda. The nation’s tertiary institutions are also to benefit from a ‘walless’ programme that would connect them through virtual library and seamless campus connection.
MD and CEO of NIGCOMSAT Limited, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, who disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, listed the benefits of the satellite to government agencies and other business enterprises as, among others, reduction in the cost of bandwidth acquisition, which, according to him, costs Nigeria N75 billion yearly.
The satellite will also, according to Ahmed-Rufai, boost development of indigenous software applications to aid Nigeria’s quest for a knowledge economy; boost the nation’s telecommunications service delivery and facilitate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pursuit of a cash-less economy.
The NIGCOMSAT boss said the facility had already attracted the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Nigerian Army, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Nigeria Customs Service, Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria Immigration Service, security operatives and several Internet Service Providers (ISP).
He added that the satellite, which has capacity to cover over 40 African countries, has already got a request from Ghana to supply two transponders. Other countries that have expressed interest in the facility, according to him, include Sierra Leone, Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Angola, South Africa and six European nations.