The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr . William Alo has urged the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) to develop a policy framework in other to strengthen its operations and services.
He gave the task while receiving the Managing Director of NigComSat Engr. Tukur Lawal, and his entourage according to a statement by the Head Press and Public Relations, Ekaete Umo, on Friday in Abuja.
The permanent secretary also charged the agency to develop effective modalities that would enable them to compete favorably in line with international best practices.
“As a government company that provides satellite services to the country and humanity in general you should be working on a policy framework for your agency that will go to the Federal Executive Council for approval when it is inaugurated”, he added.
He underscored the importance of the instrument in a number of ways amongst other things such as: to define NigComSat’s mandate and its objectives, to safeguard its operations and services; and to show the company’s contribution to government internally generated revenue (IGR).
The Permanent Secretary emphasized the need for improved and efficient service delivery and also charged the MD and his team of professionals to synergize with relevant key stakeholders for better revenue accruals to the government which will also cater for the Agency’s operations.
“As a government institution, you should at all times be guided by the rules and regulations, extant laws and circulars in your operations’, he added.
In his remarks, Engr. Lawal said he was in the ministry to brief the Permanent Secretary on the Agency’s activities and to seek guidance.
He said NigComSat which has been in existence for sixteen years ago, has both the economic and technical potential for the development of the country.
He mentioned four key thematic objectives which include: broadband leasing, broadcasting leasing, transpordal leasing, and navigation leasing.
The MD lamented that even though NigComSat’s 28 transpordals are active, its contribution to the government’s IGR is little, and he, however, gave the assurance saying “we will change the narrative”.
He added that NigComSat has a great potential of generating huge revenue from providing satellite services to other African Countries.
Engineer Tukur itemized the following achievements of NigComSat since its existence to include: support for national security; in-orbit testing for the belintersat-1 satellite; space-based augmentation system (SBAS); E-NHIA-National Health Insurance System; 5G-C-band migration among others.
He further stressed that in order to address the communication needs of the country in the areas of Broadband, Broadcasting, and Internet Services, “NigComSat is taking steps to increase its fleet of satellites, by procuring the manufacture and launch of a High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) – NigComSat-2 as an ongoing project.
He said the Agency would perform optimally if there was adequate funding, adequate budgetary allocations, patronage from government agencies, regulatory framework and waivers like licenses, state government engagement and support, National Assembly support, Local content bill amongst others.