By Obas Esiedesa
Federal Government acknowledged that without space science and technology it would be difficult for Nigeria catch up with other developed countries, and has therefore pledged to make more resources available to the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu who spoke at the 2020 National Space Dialogue and Media Conference organized by NARSDA at the Obasanjo Space Centre in Abuja on Thursday, said there are plans to send more satellites into orbit.
The dialogue had the theme: ‘Potency of space dependent technologies in driving good governance and eliminating corruption in post covid-19 era’.
Dr. Onu assured the space science and technology community that challenges facing the space agency are being addressed by the government, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari “is a great believer in Nigeria’s science, technology and innovation sector”.
“The Nigeria Space Policy is focused on vigorous pursuit of the attainment of space capabilities as an essential tool for socio-economic development, particularly on meaningful improvement in the living standard and quality of life of Nigerians”, he added.
Earlier, the keynote speaker, and Founder/CEO Zinox Technologies, Leo Stan Ekeh urged the government to lay a solid foundation for the growth of Nigeria’s space technology.
Dr. Ekeh stressed that no country can be independent unless it is technologically independent.
He noted that with a developed space technology, Nigeria could solve most of its problems while creating wealth for its people.
He lamented that the Federal Government was not providing adequate funding for Nigeria’s space agency, urging the government to urgently address the issue.
Earlier, the Acting Director General of NASRDA, Dr. Francis Chizea, said the agency remains committed to deploy its capacity to improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
“Although many have continued to wonder and question the necessity of the space programme but it is our determination to keep pushing on inspiring narratives through improved performance that will truly tell who we are.
“Our activities and performance as a strategic establishment for national development will continue to correct erroneous impressions on the part of critics and provide evidence based analysis and dramatic impacts among other things in the areas of agriculture, education, communication, financial intelligence, security and all other areas of where space technology has become a basic tool for radical development and transformation across the globe”, he stated.
In his welcome address, the Head, Media and Corporate Communications, NASRDA, Dr. Felix Ale said the theme for the conference was carefully selected to create a platform for exhaustive discussions and deliberations by all participants, particularly on the way forward.