NSE bemoans loss of $500m to foreign satellites

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE has condemned the poor utilization of Nigeria made technology goods and infrastructure.

The National President of the association, Engr. Mustafa Shehu stated this, Wednesday, when the leadership of the association visited the headquarters of the Nigerian Communications Satellite, NigComSat, Abuja.

The NSE boss said it was only wise for government and private companies in the country to make use of locally made technology facilities to advance the course of Nigerian growth.

Shehu was overwhelmed by the magnitude of facility at the company, saying: “Nigeria must learn to maximize the capacity of her technological potentials , especially at the NigComsat to avert the continued loss of $500 million to foreign Satellites, which are patronized by Nigerian government and private companies.”

*Telecom mast

*Telecom mast

The NSE President argued that if given the right patronage, Nigerian can lead Africa in Satellite services  and also compete favourably at the global market, adding that the facility if well utilized could provide millions of jobs for the unemployed graduates in Nigeria.

He stressed the need for introduction of legislation that would confer an advantage to locally manufactured infrastructure and technological services above their foreign competitors to enable Nigerian actualize its Vision 20 2020 dreams .

“I am impressed with what I have seen in NigComSat.  The federal government has invested a lot of money to come up with this IT infrastructure.  For me, it is only wise for the government and every company in the country to make use of these facilities for the development of this country, otherwise we may end up having another company where billions of naira are being spent and facilities not utilized like in the case of Ajaokuta Steel company.

“Today, many people are being employed here and with the capacity they have, they can employ much more number of graduates, engineers, technologies, scientists, accountants etc. My take is that government must begin to look inwards to leverage the potentials we have here. In addition, Nigeria needs a legislation to protect its technology. It has become necessary, so that every active person in Nigeria can get employed and earn a good living,” he added.

In his speech, Managing Director of NigComSat, Mr. Ahmed Rufai said it was regrettable that Nigeria is the only African country that has her own Satellite but failed to utilise its potentials for competitive advantage.

Quoting the 2012 global competitive index report, Rufai said Nigerian had declined from 86 to 115 in global ranking between 2006 to 2012, which he said could continue if government fail to address the cause by focusing on its strong areas in the global competitiveness.

“Our global competitive index is going down. The more competitive we are the more we can soar in the global competitiveness. Between 2006 and 2012, Nigeria has declined from 86 to 115 in the global ranking, which means we need to do more.

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