Enterprise Television- Chinese Firm to Invest $550m Equity in Nigcomsat – Minister
Mr. Adebayo Shittu said that Chinese satellite manufacturer, Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, will make $550m equity investment in the Nigeria Communications Limited, the Minister of Communications.
Shittu also disclosed that the equity investment would come in the form of two extra communications satellites that would increase the fleet of the Nigerian company to three satellites.
According to the minister, a committee is currently evaluating the assets of the Nigerian communications operator to determine what percentage of equity that the Chinese firm’s $550m will translate into before a deal is signed between the two entities.
He said that Nigeria wanted to take a loan from the EXIM Bank of China for the construction of the two satellites but had to renegotiate with the Chinese when it became obvious that the country could not afford the counterpart funding of 15 per cent required.
Shittu stated, “In the area of satellite communications, we have one satellite in the orbit. Today, rather than one satellite, we are looking at acquiring two more satellites. We were not only able to get the China EXIM Bank to procure two more satellites, we have got them to agree to fully finance the satellites.
“It is not a loan. We have a policy of discouraging taking of loans in this government unless it becomes extremely inevitable. For NigComSat 2 and 3, it is not about a loan; it is about equity participation.
Asked to justify the acquisition of two more satellites, the minister said, “It is justified in the sense that we are looking at a business, whose potential is limitless if we have these extras. “The good thing now is that the company, which is sponsoring it, is bringing the satellites without our government having to spend a kobo. They are coming in with those two satellites as their equity participation in the running of NigComSat-1R.”
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