By SAMSON AKINTARO
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Youths and Sports has announced plans to partner with the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) in its youths empowerment programmes. The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung disclosed this recently when he paid a familiarisation visit to NIGCOMSAT Headquarters in Abuja.
“We need to partner with NIGCOMSAT to avail the Nigerian youths the opportunity to be trained and empowered in Information Communication Technology (ICT) because digital civilisation is trending. “We must prepare our young people for the challenges ahead and the best place to do this is NIGCOMSAT where they have the facilities.
“Coincidentally, we have a training programme for our staff on ICT as our policy is to ensure that all staff of the ministry of youth and sports are all ICT compliant. Dalung said that the ministry would also take advantage of NICOMSAT Staff Attendance and Access Control System (SAACS) to check staff attendance.
According to him, SAACS will also help the ministry determine the actual number of people on the payroll so as to identify those working hard. “We are going to key into SAACs in our ministry, install it in major points for our members of staff in order to take note of those working hard which is very important in national development.’’ The minister also said that the ministry would take advantage of the partnership with NIGCOMSAT in the transmission of local league which had over the years remained analog.
“We can take benefit of the partnership with NIGCOMSAT and improve on the league, try to generate and produce our league and choose when and who to sell them to. “This will increase our revenue base and also increase profile of the league and create job for so many people.’’
On local content, the minister said that it was the thrust of President MuhammaduBuhari’s administration to believe in ourselves and produce everything for ourselves as a nation and not to rely on external bodies.
“With what I have seen in NIGCOMSAT, there is no reason why Nigerians will not patronise the agency for its satellite services. “If the orbit of our satellite can beam over Africa, why can’t it beam over Nigeria, it should start beaming on us in Nigeria before other African countries.’’
Earlier, the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, MsAbimbolaAlale said that the agency had two weeks ago signed an agreement with Belintersat, operators, Belintersat-1, a communication satellite of the Belarusian Peoples Republic for a backup service. She said the agreement with Belarus was aimed at repositioning NIGCOMSAT for commercial viability and was set to push its services, while reassuring customers of reliability and sustainability.
She said that with the agreement, NIGCOMSAT bandwidth had expanded, and assured customers of safety. “However, we are looking for different market, in private sector, in government if they can give us resources to have our own additional satellite but the immediate solution to the backup has been catered for.