How Nigeria missed launching satellite during Buhari’s administration

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How Nigeria missed launching satellite during Buhari’s administration

File Photo: President Buhari delivering his last broadcast

Published By: Michael Adesina

By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

Dr Halilu Shaba, the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) on Tuesday said that Nigeria missed launching a satellite during Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency due to insufficient funds.

Shaba, in an interview in Abuja, said there were numerous national challenges competing for limited resources.

He explained that the agency was considering building a Communication Satellite at the time which had more investment returns.

He also said that due to the paucity of funds, the agency decided to go commercial by borrowing the money.

Shaba said: “We are moving towards building Nigeria communication satellite which will be prime in the present economy.

“The way the agency was made is that you can build all kinds of satellites and we have been looking at which satellite now that our Earth Observation satellite is clearly going out of orbit.

“We are thinking about communication satellite and Earth observation.

“We tried at shot at Sukuk in the last administration and we missed with just a mark because the government was looking at our plans to pay back.

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“We were saying give us the loan to be paid back.”

He added that there was the issue of moratorium that was supposed to exist between the person lending and the lender, and that understanding was not reached within the specific time.

“Now we are going back again to try another shot,’’ the director general said.

Shaba emphasized that satellites required so much to fund, whereas the government was battling with limited resources to address many problems at once.

“We will borrow the money as loan, build our satellite and be made to be accountable for it and I can assure you that is one way to deal with this mechanism,’’ Shaba said.

He also said that the agency was exploring all revenue sources as alternative means of funding to ensure the idea came to light.

“The idea is that we are going to launch communication satellite which is part of what most media organisations use and then also see what other fund sources will give us.

“With that alone, we should be able to pay for a quarter of the money invested within the first three months,’’ Shaba stated.

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