Nigeria’s federal government has announced plans to establish two additional satellites in an attempt to improve connectivity in the Nigerian telecoms industry.
The move is intended to support the Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat) system and to complement the existing satellite, NigComSat-2. The satellite carries much of Nigeria’s TV and telecoms services.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, the reason for the additional satellites is to accommodate areas that cannot be easily covered by terrestrial fibre-optic cable.
He announced the news during the sixth regular meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) in Abeokuta, Ogun state, where he spoke in a session titled Leveraging on ICT as Veritable Vehicle for Economic Recovery and Growth.
“There is a positive increase in the number of active telecommunication subscribers, with an increase from 148.7 million in August 2015 to 162.05 million in September 2018,” he said. This represents an increase of 7%.
Shittu said that the country’s level of foreign direct investment in telecoms had increased from US$32bn in 2015 to US$40bn in 2018.
The country’s internet penetration had reached 48.44%, which makes Nigeria second only to South Africa in terms of internet penetration on the continent. To boost employment and economic recovery in the nation, the government aims to use ICT to aid economic diversification.
“The NCCT is the highest governmental policy advisory body in the ICT sector,” Shittu said. “The NCCT meeting enhances national intergovernmental coordination in the ICT sector and provides platform for networking and experiences sharing toward harmonised sector development.”
He explained that the government will continue to improve on technology and its application to the various sectors in Nigeria.