Nigeria has opened talks with China for the financing and construction of two new communication satellites at a cost of $701m.
The new satellites, to be known as NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3, are to serve as backup to the country’s existing communications satellite, NigComSat-1R, which was put in the orbit in December 2011.
The General Manager, Satellite Applications, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, Mr. Abdulrahman Adelajah, disclosed these at a media parley hosted by the company in Abuja on Wednesday.
He also said that NigComSat had won a bid to provide In-Orbit Test for Belarus for the launching of its new satellite from the company’s Abuja ground station.
Adelajah said the China EXIM Bank would finance the construction of the new satellites, which would likely be handled by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation.
He stated, “Following the successful launch of NigComSat-1R, two additional satellites, NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3, are required to provide backup services, expand operations and boost customer confidence.
“The Federal Government has already commenced budgetary provision in this respect. In furtherance of the sustained commercial relations between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Finance has been negotiating with the China EXIM Bank to provide a loan facility to support a series of Nigerian developmental projects, including the manufacture and launch of NigComSat-2 and 3 at a cost of $701m.”
He added, “Both NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3 satellites are designed to operate in a geostationary orbit and delivered to orbit locations of 19 degrees East and 22 degrees West, respectively for provision of C-Band, Ku-Band and Ka-Band payload capability for a minimum service life of 15 years.
“NigcomSat-2 is designed to cover Nigeria, Middle East, China and other Asian countries, whilst NigComSat-3 will cover Nigeria, and the South and North America. With the three satellites in orbit, it will be possible for the Nigerian telecommunications industry to dominate the African market within a period of five years after the launch of the satellites.”
Nigeria’s first communications satellite, NigComSat-1, was designed and built by the CGWIC at a cost of $400m. The satellite, which was put in the orbit in May 2007, was deorbited in November 2008 following the development of a power fault. It was replaced in December 2011 with NigComSat-1R by the same company.
In a statement made available to our correspondent, the Head of Public Affairs, NigComSat, Mr. Adamu Idris, explained that the company had been announced as the winner of a bid to provide In-Orbit Test and Carrier Spectrum Services for the Belintersat-1 satellite owned by Belarus.
The Belarus satellite, also constructed by the CGWIC, is set for launch in January 2016.
Jack Ma Plans the Biggest IPO, the Billionaire Backed Ant Group to Raise $34 Billion
Ant Group Plans to Raise the Biggest IPO Money of $34.4 Billion
Ant Group backed by Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba and the richest man in China, plans to sell shares valued at $34.4 billion or £26.5 billion on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The company’s advisers set the price on Monday as demand among top global investors surged.
Once the company is listed on the two exchanges, Ant Group would have raised the most money in a single IPO and exceeded the previous record of $29.4 billion set by Saudi Aramco in December 2019.
It should be noted that Ant, an online payment, is only selling around 11 percent of its total shares. Therefore, putting the market value of the Financial Technology (fintech) giant at around $313 billion, the exact valuation of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times bigger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
“This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history. We wouldn’t have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago,” Mr Ma said of the deal.
Mr. Ma, according to findings, owned Ant shares worth around $16 billion, taking his total net worth to about $80 billion once the company is listed.
The preliminary price consultation showed institutional investors through Shangai IPO subscribed for over 76 billion shares or more than 284 times of the initial offline offering, according to the Ant Shanghai announcement.
Ant, the fintech company that runs Alipay, the main online payment system in China, said the volume of payments performed by the company in the financial year ended June 2020 was $17.6 trillion.
Alipay now has 1.3 billion users with Chinese accounting for most of its users while the rest comes from its nine e-wallet partners.
Pantami Moves to Tackle $2.16bn Capital Flight from Telecoms Sector
$2.16bn Leaves Telecommunications Sector Yearly
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has put the total capital flight from the telecommunications sector at $2.16 billion per year.
A large part of the total amount comes from those renewing and purchasing software licenses, domain subscriptions and renewals, and cybersecurity.
The minister said to stem the trend, the ministry has developed a policy to promote local content in the sector.
In his speech at the digital day celebration, Pantami said the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, under Pillar #8 of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), would tackle the issue.
Pantami said, “As part of our efforts to promote indigenous content, we have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.
“This is important to stem the tide of capital flight, among other things. A report of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria suggests that such capital flight in the telecom sector is as high as $2.16bn annually.
“A healthy digital economy requires a robust indigenous content policy to significantly reduce this.”
Pantami stated that there was an urgent need to promote and support the development of indigenous content in all sectors.
He explained that the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption pillar was addressing this for the digital economy.
“This pillar aligns with Executive Orders 003 of May 2017 and 005 of February 2018, on ‘Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on broadband, the minister said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) was created to speed up the growth of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.
Pantami said, “The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025.
“This will be at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).”
Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology Startups in Nigeria Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology (fintech) startups in Nigeria raised a combined $122 million in 2019, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Mr. Olumide Bolumole, the Divisional Head of Listings Business, NSE, disclosed this while speaking on the fintech industry and its growth in recent years.
“The Fintech industry in Nigeria continues to gain increasing popularity after taking the lead in Africa and attracting $122 million in funds in 2019.
“At the exchange, we recognise the opportunity to provide a platform where players in the Fintech landscape can have easier access to right-sized capital to fulfil their organisational objectives.
“The NSE is, therefore, committed to developing multiple solutions to address the needs of the Fintech community in Nigeria such as the provision of the NSE Growth Board.
“The exchange will also prioritise collaborations with organisations such as FinTechNGR to ensure solutions from this webinar are implemented for the benefit of the sector,” he said.
However, with just about 200 fintech companies in Nigeria, the sector is still young and just emerging with room for growth, considering the fact that most Nigerians are still unbanked.
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