By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna
The Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) has been identified as a strategic contributor in building a digital Nigeria, policy documents released by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy have noted.
NigComSat will contribute to three pillars already earmarked in the policy and this includes the provision of service infrastructure that will enable government to provide digital services through robust satellite links in order to drive the digital economy in the rural and underserved areas.
NigComSat, according to the document, National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030), will provide the backbone to support efforts that will accelerate the penetration of affordable and quality broadband internet in the rural communities.
NIGCOMSAT under the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 is already saddled with the mandate of providing satellite internet broadband services through installation of 3000 VSAT remotes in rural areas in order to bridge the gap between urban and rural communities and also to provide solid infrastructure towards the digital economy implementation process.
The satellite, NigComSat-1R launched in 2011, has supported programmes and projects that have reduced capital flight from the country and saved the country millions of dollars in the services it renders to the federal government in areas such as security, health and education.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is collaborating with NIGCOMSAT to reengineer and completely overhaul its health insurance business processes. This will ensure the attainment of the NHIS mandate of providing universal access to good quality and affordable healthcare services to citizens and residents in Nigeria as well as to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) mandate.
As in health and security, several institutions in the educational sector including universities, polytechnics and secondary schools across the country are already benefiting from the services of the satellite.