Separate NIGCOMSAT from NASRDA, a –Boroffice error

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A former director general of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Professor Ajayi Boroffice, called the decision to separate Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited from NASRDA a mistake.

NASRDA, established among other things to develop satellite technology for various applications in the country, is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, while NigCOMSAT, initially established as the commercial arm of NASRDA, reports to the ministry. Communications and Digital. Economy.

Several reactions had welcomed the statement by the Managing Director / Managing Director of NigCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale, that the agency planned to launch two satellites by 2025 to replace the NigComSat-1R, which expires in 2026. Some analysts explained that the launch of satellites is not the responsibility of NIGCOMSAT.

Speaking at a stakeholder forum on “NIGCOMSAT Ltd: Present and Future” in September, Alale said: “I am happy to inform you of our desire to acquire more satellites from here. 2025, with the NigComSat-2 satellite due for launch in 2023 and the NigComSat-3 to be launched in 2025.

“This will not only inspire the confidence of our customers and distribution partners, but will also put NIGCOMSAT Ltd at the forefront of communications satellite operators with a fleet of orbiting satellites. ”

Responding to the developments in an interview with one of our correspondents on Friday, Boroffice, who is the deputy majority leader in the Senate, said the task of launching satellites should be the function of NASRDA.

He said: “I think it’s a mistake to have removed NIGCOMSAT from NASRDA. I only hope the error will be corrected in the future. I don’t want to get involved in politics.

“Both have the potential to contribute to the development of our country. Land claims should not be allowed to erode the potential of their contributions to national development.

“There are two services that satellites can provide. One of them is communication and the other is sending remote sensing data. That’s why we have NigeriaSAT-1 and NigeriaSAT-2. So setting up another company called NigeriaSAT-2, for me, doesn’t make sense. They are both generated by NASRDA.

Analysts had pointed out that NASRDA is the only agency authorized by law to acquire satellites while NIGCOMSAT was created as a commercial agency to manage the sale and rental of satellite communication services.

Meanwhile, Section 6 (b) of Part 2 of the NASRDA Act of 2010 also states: Build and launch satellites.

Efforts to get NIGCOMSAT’s response to the reactions were unsuccessful as mobile phone calls from its public affairs manager, Alhaji Idris Barade, were not answered. In addition, an SMS which was sent to him did not receive a response.

Further, it has been reliably established that the Office of the Secretary of the Federation Government, in a 2011 memo, ordered NASRDA to “focus on its statutory function of developing and launching satellites, among others, and NIGCOMSAT to focus only on commercialization. satellite resources ”.

Likewise, the Federation’s Solicitor General’s Office wrote to the then Minister of Science and Technology in 2012, confirming that NASRDA was the sole government agency responsible for building and launching satellites.

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