The Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) has said it would partner with the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) to use its new Ka-band to boost internet accessibility in the rural areas.
Ms Abimbola Alale, Managing-Director of NIGCOMSAT told newsmen in Abuja that the new Ka-band would provide cheap internet financial transactions and internet accessibility at a lower cost to Nigerians.
Ka-band is opening a new window to internet services for financial and health services for rural communities to accelerate national development.
She said the development was to ensure that people in the rural communities have access to internet connectivity.
According to her with cheap Internet connectivity, people in rural communities would access to easy financial services, health insurance and other benefits that people in the urban areas enjoys.
Alale said the new Ka-band inaugurated recently would be used by NIPOST, government, private and public stakeholders to achieve its aim.
The MD said the agency had developed and rolled other bands before now which were considered expensive for individuals in the country to access.
“Formerly other bands had been utilised, we have been using C-band and K-band but they were very expensive for individuals.
“All the agencies in the ministries are working with Galaxy backbone and we advise federal ministries and agencies to work with galaxy back-bone and NIPOST to harness to the new Ka-band.
“The only band which we are yet to release is the L-band which is for navigation and it is a GPS based service which we are still working on.
“Every other commercial band has been utilised,’’ she said.
She said NIGCOMSAT would work with other government agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Agriculture, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Internet Service Providers and other stakeholders to ensure easy access and affordability of the band.
“This project is an initiative of stakeholders coming together to make sure that it works out.
It is going to transform NIPOST to a modern postal service through digital financial services starting with 112 Post offices across the country.
Alale said that the NIMC is looking forward to the completion of this project, as it would make it easy for people to get their National Identity Cards through its process.
“As I speak now, the Public Access Centre in Kubwa is open where people living there can access the internet at affordable cost.
Mr Sola Bickersteth, the Managing Director of One Network, a network provider and an agent working with NIGCOMSAT and NIPOST said the Ka-band satellite would enable the youths to have job opportunities.
He said the people would also have access to agriculture loans, easy and cheap internet connectivity among others.
“We are collaborating with NIPOST to have the post offices equipped and provided with trained members of staff.
“We anticipate that we need postal agents across the country and we will achieve it through NIPOST.
“The Pilot location in Benue State has started to take advantage of the opportunity to access loans to farmers.
This new Ka-band will enable us to take the postal service driven by the internet to the next level,” he said.