The federal government recently disclosed that Nigeria would leverage on the Nigerian Satellite (NigComSat-1R) to deepen broadband penetration in the country.
It also expressed its readiness to train 600 Nigerian youths on Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) installations and core skills.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, stated this in Abuja during the official launch of the National Policy on VSAT installation core skills for Nigerians and the flag-off of the policy implementation through the training of 600 youths nationwide.
Pantami said the NigComSat-1R is a critical national infrastructure that the government wants to leverage on to deepen broadband connectivity and serve the under-served as well as the rural communities.
He said: “The Nigerian Satellite (NigComSat–1R) is one of the critical national (solid) infrastructures under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy that can be leveraged on to deepen broadband penetration as well as to deliver Direct to Home (DTH) services in the country.”
Noting that broadband connectivity plays a critical role in the development of Nigeria’s digital economy, the minister said: “We are developing skill acquisition policies for the various infrastructure required to drive the digital economy.”
He stated that according to Satellite Market and Research publication, VSAT market is getting more prevalent in several emerging economies, particularly in Asia Pacific and Latin America, which he said were undertaking initiatives to digitalise their economies to compete with their developed competitors.
However, Pantami observed that this can only be actualised through the deployment of VSAT, adding that further digital content is also delivered to homes via the Television Receive Only (TVRO) antennae and decoders.
He stated that to effectively deploy satellite-based services, training and re-training of Nigerians on VSAT installation, TVRO antenna installation and configuration of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) is therefore required to enhance the process.
According to the minister, addressing the capacity gap in the delivery of satellite-based services is therefore now considered as an urgent imperative to improve the quality of life in communities, especially in remote and rural areas where most of the population are situated.