By Remi Adebayo
Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Ltd has entered into an agreement with Thales Alenia Space of France in the move to collaborate on the testing and characterization of NigComSat-1R payload towards the demonstration of the capability of NigComSat-1R payload for Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS).
The document was signed on Thursday, December 13 at Toulouse in France.
According to the terms of the document, its successful testing will assist in stimulating business opportunities which would address navigation and maritime safety in Africa in partnership with other stakeholders.
Not fewer than €400,000.00 worth of SBAS equipment would be ceded to NIGCOMSAT from the France space firm, while Thales will have access to utilise NIGCOMSAT’s services and both parties can mutually benefit from knowledge transfer in relation to the terms of the partnership.
Thales Alenia Space Company is the leading satellite manufacturing company, specialising in satellite payloads and equipment with over 50 percent of the world market share in satellite payloads manufacturing.
On its part, NIGCOMSAT Ltd is a satellite communications service provider exclusively owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria providing secured communications services in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
As part of the negotiations held in Abuja on the cooperative agreement, top management staff of NGCOMSAT Ltd, led by the Executive Director, Engineering Services, Engr. Kazeem Kolawole Raji, visited the Head Office of Thales Alenia Space in Toulouse to finalize the discussions on the agreement recently, resulting in the endorsement of the document on Thursday.
During the visit, the Nigerian delegation visited the Assembly Integration and Testing of the firm.
While speaking at the signing in Toulouse, leader of NIGCOMSAT’s delegation, Engr. Raji noted that the signing was a platform to kick-start the collaboration between NIGCOMSAT Ltd and Thales Alenia Space towards establishing the capacity of NIGCOMSAT Navigation Payload towards the utilization of the Navigation payload of NigComSat-1R to improve Navigation and Maritime safety across Africa and beyond with the ultimate bid for Nigeria to become a center for navigation and maritime safety in Africa.
On his own part, the Vice President of Satellite Navigation Business Unit of Thales Alenia Space, Bennoit Brody, stated that the agreement would open a floodgate to demonstrate both the capacity of NigComSat-1R navigation payload and that of Thales Alenia Space as a leading satellite equipment provider which is expected to create potential navigational business opportunities as well as safety in Africa.