Nigeria: Govt To Spend Millions On NIGCOMSAT
Nigeria’s Federal Government will this year spend the sum of $9.3 million (N3.4 billion) on Nigeria’s satellite company NIGCOMSAT, according to media reports.
The annual spending on the company continues amid concerns around the underutilised state of NigCOmSat 1-R, the country’s primary satellite that is being managed by NIGCOMSAT Limited.
According to the approved budget for 2020, 76 percent of the funds will go into recurrent expenditure, while the rest is to be spent on capital projects throughout the year.
Aside from the poor revenue generation posture of the company, stakeholders in the industry have expressed concerns over increasing government spending on NIGCOMSAT, which has remained non-profitable for the country. This year’s spending on the company is, however, slightly lower than N3.9 billion budgeted in 2019.
Between the years 2011 and 2016, NIGCOMSAT reportedly spent more than $60 million of taxpayers’ money on recurring expenditure such as salaries, conferences, training, hotel and accommodation, entertainment and hospitality, transport, travelling and printing and stationery, among others.
The $60 million was in addition to the N144 billion ($362million) that was spent on the satellite alone and the infrastructure in China and Abuja, which, according to NIGCOMSAT’s CEO, Ms Abimbola Alale, is approximately $1 billion.
Nigeria has been in limbo in the global satellite industry despite its multi-million dollar investments in satellite many years ago.
The NigComSAT-1R has remained grossly underutilised because most organisations that are supposed to do business with the company have been relying on foreign satellites instead.
Commenting on efforts to reposition Nigeria’s satellite for optimum use, NIGCOMSAT’s Executive Director of Marketing and Business Development, Mr Samson Osagie, said that while the global space economy hit $348 billion in 2017, Nigeria’s share of the market remains insignificant despite possessing a satellite with full capacity.
He said that NIGCOMSAT is in talks with all stakeholders to form partnerships that will boost the patronage of Nigeria’s satellite.
Credit: This article originated from www.newtelegraphng.com