By Abubakar Yunusa
Bosun Tijani, minister of communications, innovations and digital economy, has asked Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, to create a maintenance programme for Starlink, a satellite internet service in Nigeria.
Tijani addressed Musk over the weekend in a post on his verified X (formerly Twitter) account.
In 2021, SpaceX approached the Nigerian government to secure the licences needed to launch Starlink in the country.
A year later, Musk hinted at rolling out the satellite internet service in Africa via his X account after a user asked about his plans for Africa.
In May 2022, the billionaire, who is also the founder of Tesla Inc. announced that the internet service had been approved in Nigeria.
Speaking on the presence of the service in Nigeria, Tijani said providing a certified installer for Starlink devices and “hardware startups to produce repeater boxes locally” would go a long way in creating thousands of jobs in the country.
“Excellent conversation with Ryan Goodnight, senior director, Global Licensing and Activation of SpaceX on the sidelines of ITU-WRC 23, who shared that Nigeria is their biggest market in Africa,” he posted.
“As demand for Starlink continues to grow in Nigeria, we spoke about the issue of connecting unserved and underserved Nigerians.
“I also mentioned the possibility of creating thousands of new jobs in Nigeria through initiatives like a certified installer/maintenance programme for Starlink and working with hardware startups to produce repeater boxes locally.
“We intend to encourage every tech company to invest and deepen our tech ecosystem.”
Starlink was launched as a low-earth orbiting (LOE) constellation of satellites to provide low latency, high bandwidth internet to consumers across the globe.
A low latency network connection is one that generally experiences small delay times, while bandwidth refers to the amount of information that a connection to the internet can handle at a given time.
Starlink internet is said to work by sending information through the vacuum of space, where it travels much faster than in fiber-optic cable.