The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami on Thursday said the sector was crucial to the realisation of Nigeria’s full potential.
Mr Pantami said this in Abuja at a two-day workshop on Satellite-Based Augmentation System, SBAS, a flight demonstration within the Nigerian Airspace by Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, Ltd using the NigComSat-1R payload, the L-Band.
The NigComSat-1R navigation (L-Band) payload provides Navigational overlay Services, which have disruptive applications in the aviation and non-aviation sectors.
The event was organised by the SatNav Africa Joint Programme Office, JPO, in collaboration with the ANGA programme and NIGCOMSAT and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA.
The overall aim was to provide a knowledge-sharing platform to support stakeholders’ decision-making in the creation of synergies.
This is to enable the collective reaping of benefits provided by SBAS in the continent, including safety, efficiency and environmental protection benefits.
The minister said communication and digital technology was the key enabler of other sectors like security, defence, health, agriculture, education and aviation.
“The satellite covers part of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean; it covers parts of Asia and Europe.
”Our satellite here in Nigeria has the capacity to provide the navigation overlay services.
The Nigerian Communications Satellite has the capacity to support the implementation of the SBAS not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa with 54 countries,” Mr Pantami said.
He, however, urged African nations to consider the Nigerian Communication Satellite when the need arises.
Mr Pantami also said the deployment of SBAS by using the navigation overlay services would significantly improve the accuracy of the signal, its availability and integrity.
“I have directed NIGCOMSAT to collaborate and reach out to the aviation sector to ensure successful implementation of SBAS in Africa,” he said.
The Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Tukur Lawal, said the success of the flight demonstration underscored the need for collaborative efforts by the relevant agencies.
He said that this would facilitate the efforts of the Federal Government in meeting the desired goals of a digital Nigeria, which he said would bring unprecedented results.
”For NIGCOMSAT Ltd to contribute its own quota in the digital economy and industrial revolution, we cannot remain in the comfort zone, but rather look for areas of exploring the market both local and international.
”We will give all the support needed and innovations that will meet and convert all weaknesses to successes,” Mr Lawal said.