Nigeria is to launch its information and communication satellite, christened “NIGCOMSAT-1” in 2006.
NIGCOMSAT -1 would be the country’s second satellite after its pioneer satellite, NigeriaSat-1, was launched on September 27, 2003 at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt the satellite, when launched, would help to improve telecommunication services in the country. It will also address a broad array of communication needs in the areas of telephony, broadcasting, broadband and internet services.
The satellite would also have a subsidiary pay load for space-based augmentation systems for navigation and global positioning.
The Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Prof. Robert Boroffice who made this known in Abuja, said preliminary work on the satellite has commenced.
He said that President Olusegun Obasanjo had mandated NASRDA to ensure that the satellite is launched in 2006 for sustainable growth and development of the country. Prof. Boroffice disclosed that the agency is currently working toward the realisation of the mandate in order to deploy the satellite to enhance socio-economic development in various sectors.
The NASRDA director-general, however, said the satellite like NigeriaSat-1 would be built outside the country.
Boroffice, who regretted that Nigeria was losing billions of naira to access similar communication satellite for broadcasting and other telephone services, said that the launching of NIGCOMSAT-1 would address the situation and bring relief to Nigerians.