The bill that will serve as “the enabling act for the Nigerian Communications Satellite Corporation (NCSC)” has passed through a second reading in the Senate chambers of the Nigerian National Assembly in Abuja.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who is the leader of the Senate, states that the corporation upon establishment, would be in charge of the operations of the nation’s NIGCOMSAT communications satellite.
According to Ndoma-Egba, the bill when signed into law would serve dual functions including giving the NCSC its much-needed legal backing to be at the vanguard of the development of Nigeria’s satellite communication industry – a necessity for the operations of the nation’s space policy to be successful.
The act is further intended to protect the management and operations of the nation’s current and future communications satellites as required by global best practices.
Ndoma-Egba further stated that the act is similar to the Communication Satellite Act of 1962 that the US Congress passed into law.
Concerning the content of the bill, the lawmaker said: “the bill clearly states the policy of this administration to establish a commercial communication system that will be responsive to public needs and national objectives.
“As it stands, there is no legislative protection for the fulfilment of these objectives through the operations of NIGCOMSAT Ltd, as the Memorandum and Article of Associations establishing NIGCOMSAT Ltd can be altered by resolution. However, with the enactment of this bill into law, the corporation will be well positioned to fulfil government’s objectives.”
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, described the bill before the Senate as “delicate” as it requires thorough analyses by the Senate committees on Communications, Science and Technology for further legislative actions.
The committees are expected to submit their reports to the Senate after three weeks when the house will reconvene for a final reading of the bill before voting.