Ahead of the official launch of Nigeria's first communication satellite, it has been revealed that the country stands to generate an annual revenue of about USD70 million from the direct sales of slots.

Also, the country will be saved some 100 million dollars spent annually on information traffic via other satellites while targeting to secure 10 percent in the short term, of the about USD 660 million spent by African countries on the provision of communication traffic outside the continent thereby curbing capital flight.

Making these disclosures yesterday at a press briefing in Abuja, Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Engr. Ahmed Rufai, said a conservative 56 percent Return on Investment (ROI) rate has been targeted when the satellite is fully subscribed.

He said a period of not later than six years will see the company breaking even on investment, explaining however, that it would be difficult to put a figure on the total amount spent to bring the project on stream.

Rufai stated that it is estimated that revenue generation from NIGCOMSAT-1 would be more than what is generated from oil by 2010 as "Nigeria would have fully plugged into the global knowledge-based revolution opening a new dawn of digital opportunity for Africa."

The MD said as part of the benefits to Nigerians, NIGCOMSAT will delve into the provision of end-user services in rural telephony which will bring call rates to as low as 10 naira per minute (US8 cents) when the company secures the appropriate license from the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC).

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