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    Saturday, February 24, 2024

    NIGCOMSAT Launches Satellite-Based Support Scheme for Tech Startups

    Jane Egerton-Idehen, NigComSat’s CEO delivering her opening speech at the Accelerator launch event. Source: NigComSat

    In a significant stride towards fostering technological innovation, the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) has officially inaugurated its accelerator programme in Abuja.

    The programme, unveiled at the Communication and Digital Economy Complex, is aimed at propelling advancements in satellite technology and bolster Nigeria’s position in the global tech arena.

    Attended by prominent figures from the tech industry and within the government, the launch event underscored NIGCOMSAT’s pivotal role in driving economic growth and digital transformation.

    The chairmen of both the Senate and House Committees on Cybersecurity and ICT, lauded the initiative, emphasizing its potential to stimulate innovation, create employment opportunities and bridge the digital divide while helping to usher in the digital futured that many long for.

    Senator Afolabi Salisu while giving his goodwill speech, stated that the initiative is one that Nigerians should be proud of. He further asserted that stakeholders must continue to review the roles and responsibilities of the nation’s MDAs.

    Speaking further, Senator Salisu noted that the MDAs must begin to focus deeply on the challenges that beset the country, coming up with solution to ameliorate the living standards of the average Nigerian.

    He said, “we can no longer just be MDAs for a Federal Government that the only thing we do is the perfunctory duties known to our agencies, let us now break the rules, let us go out of the conventional because we are in a very dire strait in the country today, and technology plays a very significant role in bringing us out of this.”

    The Senator urged all agencies under the digital economy to collaborate more with each other to provide custom solutions to the nation’s problems, adding that if the agencies also liaise with the National Assembly, then they will find in the parliamentarians a worthy partner in the cause to reposition Nigeria.

    On her part, the MD/CEO of NIGCOMSAT, Ms Jane Egerton-Idehen stressed that the launch falls in line with the agency’s vision to drive innovation in the satellite industry even within Africa.

    She added that the initiative will show how tech-enabled products can solve every day problems for the average Nigerian.

    Ms Egerton-Idehen revealed that for this accelerator programme, NIGCOMSAT will be working with 20 startups from different sectors, adding that their varied projects have one unique general base which is the use of tech that requires satellite as an enabler to proffer solutions based on the needs of Nigerians.

    “Broadband access is key to pushing out these solutions,” she stressed, adding that in selecting the startups, the agency also looked at those who had products that are in demand, as there is no value is solving problems that no one needs solutions to.

    Composition of the various teams also played a key role in the selection process for the accelerator program, even as the NIGCOMSAT CEO emphasized that the project goes a long way in helping to bridge the digital divide.

    “I think this is massive, one of the things NIGCOMSAT is known for is that we go to places people wouldn’t go to, we will go to the unserved and unreached areas.

    “And really, that has been one of the biggest problems that we have seen innovation, we’ve seen economic activities in urban areas, in the cities, but most times we have left out all the rural areas and the only way to have inclusion, is to take all these things – economic activities, digital economy, whatever you are doing, it has to be accessible to all, and that is what NIGCOMSAT can do.

    “Even though these startups might exist in the city or urban areas, we are taking them to where people need them to solve problems,” Ms Egerton-Idehen stated.

    Speaking about revenue generation, the NIGCOMSAT CEO assured that the project will indeed generate a lot of revenue for the country, seeing that the solutions being provided are those which people need and as such millions will be willing to pay for services that will be rendered.

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