Nigeria to launch second satellite into orbit

Minister Pantami

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami has disclosed that Nigeria has mapped out strategies to launch a second satellite (Sat2) into orbit to enhance the country’s communications status.

The minister disclosed this during a one-day facility visit and interaction with the staff of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) in Lugbe, Abuja.

He stressed that President Mohammadu Buhari has given approval for the purchase of the satellite.

The minister said the new satellite would boost the nation’s satellite communications capacity as well as the economy.

In 2011, Nigeria launched the existing Sat1R, with a life span of 15 years which will expire in the next four years. Nigeria currently has a communication satellite, NigComSat-1R, and an Earth observation satellite, NigeriaSat-2, in operation of which the Earth observation satellite is functioning even though it has passed its expiry date.

If NigeriaSat-2 goes down without a replacement, it will affect Nigeria’s capacity to access space support for development and security as the satellite provides information on security, agriculture, and transportation. Aside from satellite-generated data, the Nigerian government has limited capacity to determine things like agricultural and construction activities across the country in almost real-time.