Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has disclosed that the country has secured a financial commitment from China for the provision of $550 million towards the purchase of two additional satellites which would be launched before the year 2020.
Shittu said both the China Exim Bank and China Great Walls, the manufacturers of the Satellites, had agreed to completely fund the project following Nigeria’s inability to fulfil the initial agreement it reached with China to provide 15 percent of the $550 million capital requirement.
According to him, Nigeria’s satellite communications had so far become ineffective due to lack of confidence customers had in the federal government-owned satellite company, NigComSat.
It was reported that NigComSat has only one satellite and this greatly derailed the confidence of prospective customers, compelled companies operating in Nigeria to purchase satellite communications data abroad.
“Already, we have one satellite over the last seven years. Having two new ones is to ensure that the Nigerian satellite company can conquer the entire African continent with regards to the provision of satellite communication services,” explained the Minister.
The satellite business is a very lucrative one and China is keen to capture the African market by leveraging the opportunities offered by the Nigerian partnership. “It is a very big business opportunity and I am sure that the Chinese appreciate the potential market that is so versed and that is why they agreed in spite of our inability to provide 15 percent, that they are prepared to bring the entire sum of $550 million for the procurement of the two satellites.”