Jonathan applauds successful launch of Nigerian satellite
President Goodluck Jonathan said on Monday that the successful launch of the new Nigerian communications satellite (NigComSat-1R) was another step toward the development of a modern, knowledge-driven society.
In a congratulatory statement on the launch in Xichang, China, the president said the satellite would have a positive impact on national development.
He said with the successful launch of the satellite, Nigeria had kept up with the time-frame of activities contained in the country’s 25-year National Space Development Roadmap.
Jonathan said the satellite would be useful in specialised areas, such as communications, Internet services, health, agriculture, environmental protection and national security.
“It will enhance our communications system as well as facilitate cheaper access to the Internet with a view to bridging the existing digital divide between our urban and predominantly rural communities.
“This will in turn bring government nearer to the grassroots,” he said.
The president said NigComSat-1R would also help in the development of indigenous competence in the management of satellites and related technologies in Nigeria.
He said the new satellite would substantially reduce the annual expenditure of over $1 billion arising from the use of foreign bandwidth for GSM communications, cable television, e-commerce and e-government in Nigeria.
“Investment in these high technology resources are part of our overall national strategy of developing an integrated critical national infrastructure.
“This will fast-track the transformation of our national economy, generate gainful employment for our youths and create wealth for our dear country.
“Our primary goal remains the accelerated improvement in the overall welfare of our country and people.
“I send my sincere congratulations to you all for another great stride in our transformation efforts,” the president said.
The new satellite was paid for by the insurance policy on NigComSat-1 which de-orbited in 2009.