Nigeria’s minister of communications, Adebayo Shittu, says that Nigeria is ordering two communications satellites from China, and will pay $550 million (€456m) for the pair. China would part-own the satellites.
Shittu, speaking in Nigerian capital city Abuja, said that the China Ex-Im Bank and the Chinese manufacturer, China Great Wall, have agreed to pay for the new satellites after Nigeria renegotiated an earlier deal that had required it to cover 15 per cent of the cost. China is now funding the complete costs of the satellites.
The minister added that the satellites would be ready for launch two years after the contract was formally signed, which was likely by the end of January.
He said the Chinese company would take an equity stake in Nigcomsat, a limited liability company owned by the Federal Government and responsible for managing satellite communications.
He said the Chinese would help market satellite communication services to other African countries which would compete with current providers from Israel, Britain and the United States. “The first thing is that we want to make a profit, we want to capture the local market and we also want to capture the African market,” he said.