Despite the Federal Government’s investments in satellites, experts have said that Nigeria is “losing out” on its share of global space tech revenue of about $558.2 billion.
The space tech experts, who spoke with Daily Trust at the 2017 Annual Space week of the Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD) in Abuja, attributed the situation to the following reasons:
lack of ground infrastructure
Epileptic power supply
Inter-agency bickering between the National Space Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT).
Capital flights as a result of patronage of foreign satellite companies by Nigerians
It should be noted that the Satellite Control & Operations department of the NIGCOMSAT is responsible for monitoring and controlling of operational status, orbital location of NigComSat-1R and the Satellite Networks (i.e. Ground & Space Segments and Network Operations).
While NASRDA, is a part of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology overseen by the National Council on Space Science Technology. It was established with a primary objective of establishing a fundamental policy for the development of space science and technology.
Nigeria at the moment has 3 satellites in the orbit, namely : NigComSat-1R, NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X.
NigComSat-1R is a replacement of the lost NigComSat-1 which failed in orbit on 11th November 2008 after running out of power.
The challenges highlighted have to be solved by the Federal Government promptly. It is still surprising that Nigeria spent billions of Naira to launch these satellites without ensuring that opportune conditions for the optimum utilization of these satellites were properly put in place. If these setbacks are not resolved on time, Nigeria will lose both in revenue and in useful data these satellites transmit.