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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: Nigeria, UK firm sign $250m Joint Venture satellite deal

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Nigeria, UK firm sign $250m Joint Venture satellite deal

 The Federal Government on Friday in Abuja signed a $250m joint venture/partnership agreement with a United Kingdom-based company, Menasat Gulf Group Plc, to provide Synthetic-Aperture Radar satellites in the country.
When operational, the SAR satellite technology will be the first of its kind in Nigeria. Images generated from it will benefit oil and gas operators, farmers, among others.
It will also be used for ocean monitoring, tracking of oil pipelines and also military activities.
The Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Seidu Mohammed, while signing the contract, said the SAR technology was necessary for Nigeria because of the challenges the agency had faced in acquiring images in mostly the southern part of the country.

“We have always had this constraint that even though we are the national repository for satellite images, we are not able to provide completely all the required images in this country. In the light of that, we have specially taken this opportunity to satisfy the Nigerian market”, he said.
According to the NSRDA DG, the Federal Government will contribute its expertise and make a place available to enable the firm set up a ground-saving station and equipment which will process and make the images available for Nigerians.
The Managing Director, Menasat, Dr. Hani Salem, said the company chose to invest in Nigeria because of its solid foundation, capacity and advancement in the earth observation satellite sector.
He said, “We have a very important and solid foundation to build on in Nigeria for this technology; that is why we are here. The first satellite plan is expected to be completed by 2020 and will cost $250m.”
Salem said the satellite, being the first in Africa, was an advanced step for Nigeria. He noted that it would have an impact on the technological development of the country.
According to him, the project will commence with the development of a data centre in a couple of months, training of the Nigerian team, direct receiving station and lastly, have the radar satellite in space.

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