Minister Flays TV Stations for Patronizing Foreign Satellite Companies

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By Dele Ogbodo

The Minister of Communication Technology, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, over the weekend flayed local television, radio and foreign broadcast stations in the country for patronizing foreign satellite companies for their programmes and contents at the detriment of the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NICOMSAT), Limited.

According to him, NIGCOMSAT, an indigenous satellite company which is presently being engaged by Belarus satellite services for delivery of its In-Orbit Test (IOT) services for the next 15 years, can do much more with improved fleet what its foreign counterparts are doing.

Wihile canvassing for utilization of NIGCOMSAT services, he urged both the local and foreign broadcast stations in the country to engage the indigenous satellite company for their services, adding that this will further boost the country’s broadband penetration.

While targeting 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018, the minister was optimistic that the country can achieve more than that with patronage of NIGCOMSAT facilities. Broadband penetration across the country stands at 10 percent.

The minister made the disclosure, while fielding questions from members of the House of Representative special sectoral debate on the diversification of the Nigerian economy, in Abuja.

He noted with concern that NIGCOMSAT, which presently operates only one satellite (NigComSat-1R) needs to improve its fleet to enhance both the public and the private sectors’ confidence, adding that this would enable the company to effectively compete in the communication sector, which he said is strategic to the country’s overall development.