30 Jan 2015

Federal Govt set to privatise Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat)

The federal government on Thursday confirmed that the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) would soon be privatised.

The confirmation came just as winners were announced in the keenly contested Infrastructure Company licence bid, also known as InfraCo licence, that will facilitate further broadband penetration to every nook and cranny of the country.

The Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, gave the confirmation when she spoke at the fourth Industry Information Communication Technology (ICT) Stakeholders’ Forum held in Lagos.
The confirmation brings to an end industry speculations as to whether government will sell it or not.
Johnson said: “NigComSat will be privatised in the next two to three years to make it more effective to deliver on the purpose for which it was established.”
She said it had become highly imperative to sell NigComSat, if the facility must remain productive and perform its role efficiently.
“If the full benefits of NigComSat must be realised, it must be privatised. We hope to complete this process in another two years from now,” she said.
The minister explained that the pivotal roles of (ICT) in national development agenda cannot be overemphasised. She said ICT has intervened in governance, sustainable job creation, infrastructure development and human and social capital development.

According to her, in the area of governance, ICT promotes transparency and accountability, increases the efficiency and effectiveness of government’s interface with citizens among others.

She said good ICT infrastructure engenders reliable connectivity and contributes to increasing the competiveness of the nation in attracting investment.

Johnson disclosed that the ICT sector had contributed immensely to the country’s GDP to the tune of about 9.58 per cent from 5.46 per cent in 2011, stressing that the country’s telecommunications sector has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and continues to attract significant Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). She disclosed that additional $6 billion investment came into the sector between 2011 and 2013, and that more investments are expected in the subsequent years.

Credit: Emma Okonji/ThisDay

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