A senior executive from Nigeria’s NigComSat has confirmed to the Nigerian press that the satellite communications company is to acquire two additional satellites from the China Great Wall Industry Corporation.
This confirmation follows an agreement between NigComSat and Chinese development banks to provide Nigeria with U.S.$500 million in aid to acquire and launch the satellites over the next 36 months.
“Presently Nigeria does not have the capital to build and finance its own satellite which is why the collaboration is needed,” said Samson Osagie, NigComSat’s Executive Director for Marketing and Business Development in an interview on 30 April 2018 with Nigerian reporters.
“NIGCOMSAT is collaborating with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation and we are negotiating to launch additional two satellites in 36 months,” said Osagie.
“The first satellite by Nigeria was launched in 2007 but had issues and was de-orbited. It was later re-launched in 2011 which makes it seven years now,” added Osagie, mentioning that the timing of acquisition and launch of the additional two satellites will help with NigComSat’s continuity of operations as well as with its business plan to capture a portion of the African satellite communications market.
Last week it was confirmed that NigComSat had entered into a strategic partnership with Turkey’s Turksat to combine forces in order to capture that market share.
“The life span of a satellite is 15 years, which means that the first one is still functional and it is important to note that negotiations for projects like this take time,” Osagie said.
China Great Wall Industry Corporation built and launched NIGCOMSAT-1 in 2007, but that soon failed in orbit. China Great Wall built and launched its replacement, NIGCOMSAT-1R, in 2011 and that has been operational ever since.