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NigComSat role under scrutiny amid rising terror

19 May 2014, 15:55

Abuja - The Nigeria Internet Group has blasted the management of Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) for allegedly not utilising the facilities of the satellite to tackle the growing security challenges in the country.

The group argued the satellite firm could have played a more significant role in the fight against terrorism.

President of the group, Bayo Banjo, noted that it would be in the best interest of the country to sell the satellite to a private firm in order to achieve its full potential.

Speaking at a forum in Lagos, Banjo insisted that the way the communication satellite company was set up was not in the best interest of government’s current policy of driving telecommunications development through the private sector.

According to him, NIGCOMSAT’S operations suggests that government still wanted to be involved directly in providing services to the people, rather than staying in its regulatory and policy formulation roles.

He also faulted the firm for not operating profitably saying  that the private companies could fare better.

“I believe that government has two important functions in the telecommunications industry, which are policy formulation and regulation.
If the satellite company is sold to any of the big firms, they will certainly operate it in such a manner that it will make profit,” he said.

Earlier, in a statement, NIGCOMSAT refuted arguments it was incapacitated in the fight against terror.

“Indeed, it is not an earth observation and remote sensing company; so, the information that it was incapacitated in the search and rescue mission for the Chibok girls is completely misplaced," it was quoted as stating.

NIGCOMSAT, established in 2006 under the Federal Ministry information Communications Technology, aims to be the leading communication satellite operator and service provider in Africa.

Its mission is “to manage and exploit the commercial viability of the Nigerian Communication Satellite for the social economic benefit of the nation.”

– CAJ News

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