FG To Spend N2B For NIGCOMSAT 1 Satellite

Source: EMMA UCHE. - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, March 01, (THEWILL) – The Federal government today said it would spend the sum of N2 billion in the 2011 budget to launch the Nigerian Communication Satellite One (NIGCOMSAT 1), which is currently being designed by the Chinese.

NIGCOMSAT 1 would replace Nigeria’s lost satellite.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dere Awosika made this disclosure at the 2011 budget defence hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

He said the N2 billion is the provision for part payment, which represents 40 per cent of the insurance premium requirement for NIGCOMSAT towards the launch of the replaced Satellite in 2011.

The launch he further disclosed would be done in Russia.

The PS said the sum of N6, 383,991,333 has been allocated for National Space Research and Development Agency adding that Science and Technology remains a key entry for the development “and this significant role cannot be implemented with low budgetary allocation.”

The Minister had said during the inspection of the NIGCOMSAT office that the innovation from the office has a far reaching positive impact on the lives of Nigerians, and maintained that federal government is tracking every step in the production of the satellite, “to make sure that the unfortunate incident that occurred last time does not repeat itself.”

On his part Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCONSAT) project manager, Engineer Isah Abdulrahim Adajah said while fielding questions from newsmen that NIGCOMSAT one Satellite replacement which is currently being designed by the China Great Wall is about 60% completion and would be launched in November 2011.

He added that the project has a delivery period of 30 months, maintaining that so far they have started the assembly and integration of the satellite and have run a couple of tests on the structure of the satellite.

“The final date for launch is November 2011. The total programme delivery period is 30 months and we are 16 months into the programme and we have about 14 months to launch now.

“The level of assembly and integration has reached an advanced stage about 60% completion, we have had so many review meetings, we have about four quarterly meetings and we had the PDR and the CDR. The CDR was held in March and CDR mean all the designed has been proven and they are going into assembly and integration,” he stated.

He however disclosed that NIGCOMSAT One is a replacement for the lost NIGCOMSAT One Satellite, adding that “the Chinese are the major contractor, they are the one that launch the NIGCOMSAT One Satellite and are replacing it after the lost.”

Reacting to the budget presentation by the Ministry, the Senate Committee Chairman, Chris Anyanwu lamented that Nigeria is still very far in the area of science and technology, noting that in 2011 Nigeria still imports tricycles like Keke NAPEP into the country from India. “That is the greatest insult.”

She however questioned the whereabouts of the lost Satellite and why the Ministry has to spend more than N700 million for the hosting of International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO).