Nigeria Seeks $550 Million for Two Communication Satellites
The Nigerian Government is seeking investors, who have the capacity to put down $550m for the acquisition of two new communication satellites for use by the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited.
The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu in an interview said, “Government has decided that we should look for equity participation rather than take loans. That means that we should get a good company that is ready to help us to bring in those two new satellites.
“For China, it was to be loan but now, we are looking for equity participation. The search continues. The NigComSat management is doing the search for new equity participation.”
The government’s quest to acquire two new communication satellites emanates from the belief that the present NigComSat-1R currently being operated by Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited has been poorly patronised because there is no provision for redundancy.
Although the China Export Import Bank had agreed to fund the construction of the two new satellites by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation, the Nigerian government seems wary of additional Chinese loans, preferring investment in the satellite project to more loans.
Nigeria’s first communications satellite, NigComSat-1, was designed and built by the CGWIC at a cost of $400 million. The satellite, which was put in the orbit in May 2007, was de-orbited in November 2008 following the development of power fault. It was replaced in December 2011 with NigComSat-1R by the same company.