Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) yesterday said that it was collaborating with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) to launch two additional satellites.
Executive Director, Marketing and Business Development of the organisation, Samson Osagie, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that the satellites would be deployed in the next 36 months. Osagie explained that the durability of a satellite was 15 years, and that Nigeria’s current satellite was seven years old. “NIGCOMSAT is collaborating with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation and we are negotiating to launch additional two satellites in 36 months.
“Presently, Nigeria does not have the capital to build and finance its own satellite which is why the collaboration is needed. The first satellite by Nigeria was launched in 2007, but had issues and was deorbited. It was later re-launched in 2011 which makes it seven years now.
“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,” he said. According to him, the additional satellites will meet the needs of telecommunication, maritime, defence, broadcast media, Africa, parts of Asia and others. He said the two satellites would be launched separately, adding that negotiations on their operations were ongoing simultaneously.
NAN reports that NIGCOMSAT-1, the first satellite was originally launched in May 2007, but de-orbited due to malfunctioning of the Solar Array Deployment Assembly. The satellite was later re-launched in 2011 as NIGCOMSAT-1R and had been in the Orbit since then.