The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has revealed that the federal government is set to begin trials of Radio Navigation Satellite System by the first quarter of 2019.

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He made this known while declaring open the 15th ITU Resolution 609 Consultation meeting and Radio Satellite Services Symposium in Abuja.

The Minister stated that the test-bed trials would also comprise characterization and pilot demonstration of the satellite systems in collaboration with partners, using selected Nigerian Air Force Aircraft and validation by Agency for Aerial Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA).

He said the federal government would be diversifying the economy in demonstration of commitment to the realization of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Shittu said: “In collaboration with our partners, we shall commence test-bed trials, characterization and pilot demonstration by the first quarter of next year; 2018 using selected Nigerian Air Force Aircrafts and validation by ASECNA, he said.”

On the planned acquisition of backup satellite for NigComSat limited, Shittu said it is not only realizable but desirable for the country to draw more patronage and put to an end the capital flight currently being experienced due to lack of confidence by those out-sourcing satellite services.