The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu on Wednesday at the State House disclosed that Nigeria will procure two new satellites from China at the cost of 550million dollars. The new satellites will be known as NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3, and will serve as backup to the country’s existing communications satellite; NigComSat-1R, which was put in the orbit in December 2011.
He stated that Nigeria was initially supposed to pay 15 percent of $550 million ($82 million) as counterpart funding for the production of the satellites, but because the government could not raise the amount, the contract was renegotiated with the China EXIM Bank and the China Great Wall.
The satellite manufacturers agreed to pay the entire $550 million to procure the two new satellites.
He also noted that the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited had in 2015 opened talks with China for the financing and construction of two new communication satellites at a cost of $701 million.
The government targets to market the satellite services to Nigerian companies as well as across the African continent and the two new satellites will be ready in two years after the signing of the agreement by the end of this month.