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Nigeria secures Chinese funding for telecom satellites
January 14, 2018, 12:44 pm
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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, disclosed that the country had secured Chinese commitment for the provision of $550 million towards the purchase of two telecommunication satellites for the government-owned satellite company, NigComSat, which would be ready for launch in the next two years.

Following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister revealed that China Exim Bank and China Great Walls, the satellite manufacturer, had agreed to fund the project 100 percent following Nigeria's inability to fulfill the initial agreement it reached with China to provide 15 percent of the $550 million.

According to him, Nigeria's attempts at commercial satellite communications have been ineffective so far because NigComSat had only one satellite which he said could not guarantee the confidence of prospective customers. He added that the scarcity of satellite communication bands currently compel Nigerian companies to purchase satellite communications data abroad. “Once we launch the two new satellites we will be able to provide services to the entire satellite communications market in Nigeria, as well as the entire continent,” said the minister.

He further explained that the sum of $550 million fund from China was not a loan but rather an equity based on a profit sharing agreement between Nigeria and the Chinese companies. He also stressed that the project was not meant for job creation but rather to serve as the platform for the conquest of the entire of African satellite market, explaining that once the satellites are launched, all companies operating in Nigeria would be barred from patronizing foreign companies for their satellite communications data.

 

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