The insurance for the NigComSat 1R that will be launched later this year by NigComSat will cost around N540m. This figure covers the insurance for the first three years after launch, according to the office of the chief budget officer, Nigeria.
Of course, without insurance the possibility after the failure of NigComSat would not have been possible. So, we got this right and it is the right thing to also ensure the next one. Of course, no one is wishing for the satellite to fail.
There are many benefits associated with satellite operations and Nigeria cannot afford not to play a leading role there. Some of these benefits include:
- efficient transportation system in the sea and air
- national security readiness. Of course, we must not be like Pakistan that was sleeping when Americans entered their country and took away Osama.
- telecommunication. cheap and dead cheap broadband access
- solid broadcasting operations
We still think that this new satellite must have some local contents. Even if it means to ask a local Nigerian company to cast the iron for its mounting. This process must be used to build capacity and nurture SMEs in the nation. Local content policy must be part of this business and Nigeria must insist that it happens. As NigComSat goes into the negotiation table, it must remember that it could help nurture small electronics companies in the nation through small contracts. That way this will be win win for the nation.
Nigeria is learning and the tragedies of NigComSat 1 must not dampen the spirit of the nation and NigComSat. Rather, we must learn from it and get better. Satellites fail all the time. Some notable examples are:
– PanAmSat, 2004
– Intelsat, 2011
– Hotbird 3, 2006
– MTSAT 1R, 2006 (recoverred)
– Climate change monitor satellite, 2007?
So, we are not alone. We need to get this one right and good enough that it is going to be insured. Tekedia commends the team at NigComSat for getting quick to getting this new satellite after the initial failure.