FG opines that Satellite technology fetches Nigeria N116bn…The question is, is there anything to show for it?

Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, Prof. Seidu Onailo Mohammed says Communication Satellite is making a huge remittance to the economy by raking in about $90 billion in 2011 alone, comprising Satellite Television, Satellite radio and broadband.

In addition, he said that about $16 billion revenue also accrued to the industry in the same year.

Prof. Mohammed disclosed this at the weekend, during a lecture on Communication Satellite in Commemoration of the Launch of the first Communication Satellite in Nigeria organized by NASRDA in Abuja.

Prof. Mohammed said that Communication Satellite is a multi-billion dollars industry that gives high returns on investments, which must be tapped by both government and private sector to drive enhance their operations.

He said that the launch of Syncom” in July 26, 1963, symbolized the beginning of technological revolutions across the globe through the application of Space Science Technology.

‘‘As scientists, research organizations and Nigerians, this historic occasion is unique to us in several ways, following various landmark experiments carried out after its successful launch.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, it will interest you that it is exactly fifty years today, when the historic telephone conversation between the then American president John Kennedy and Nigerian Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was recorded through Syncom2 Satellite,’’ he said
For him, the conversation between the two leaders was more than a phone call, noting that it was the first two way call across the Atlantic between Heads of State via satellite in global history.

It was reported that the two leaders in their conversations, exchanged pleasantries, briefly mentioned the nuclear weapon’s test ban treaty which was signed that year and spoke on a boxing match in which Nigerian middle weight boxer, late Dick Tiger had retained his title against an American.

Apart from the successful experiment, the DG also noted that NASA further used the seventy eight pound Syncom2 Satellite launched on Delta rocket B booster from Cape Canaveral in the United States, to conduct a number of engineering tests to proof and practically demonstrate the numerous benefits of Communication Satellite to mankind.

According to him, there are approximately 1,107 Satellite providing civilians communication and another 792 supporting military communications, some seven hundred of them are in geosynchronous orbit.

He called on the private sector show commitment in using Communication Satellite, since the international telecommunications are increasingly competitive in the global markets with rapid changes to technological capacities.

‘‘it is note worthy that the Economic Intelligence Unit in the United States published that in 2012 alone, Nigeria lost in call drops that could have been avoided and remedied by modern communication Satellites.

‘‘Nigeria’s involvement in this experimental exercise was not a mere con-incidence or share luck in recognition of our unique and strategic positions as a people.

‘‘The Nigerian Space programme is not only in tandem with the dream and inspiration of our forefathers but it is also in fulfilment of the role expected of us as a nation as a key player in global affairs.

‘‘It is in recognition of this fact that, the National Space Research and Development Agency has continued to keep faith with destiny and recall with nostalgia the 1063 event and sees the unique experience as a challenge to transforming the Nigerian Space agenda into realities,’’ he stated.

Culled from Vanguard Newspaper.

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