President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR (centre), NASDRA Delegation, and Other Government Officials in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT Photo: Channels TV

Buhari tasks space agency to utilise satellite facilities to address insecurity, others

*President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Honourable Minister for Science and Technology to prepare and submit a revised 25-year roadmap for implementation of the national space policy to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In connection with the pressing need for the country to apply research and technology to tackle security challenges, improve communication, digital penetration and agriculture, President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) to effectively utilise the satellite facilities at its disposal to resolve the critical issues confronting Nigeria currently.

President Buhari stated this at a meeting with members of NASDRA Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, FCT.

Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement, said the Nigerian President expressed a renewed commitment to the space sector, as he described the agency as the foundation of cybersecurity and a vibrant digital economy.

Buhari stated: “No doubt Space is providing a new frontier for human development,” he was quoted as

“As a stimulus for increased technological advancement and economic innovation, outer space offers a unique challenge and platform for effective exploration and exploitation of our natural resources and the protection of our environment.”

According to the President, “space technology remains the foundation for cybersecurity and a vibrant digital economy.”

In view of this development, Buhari directed Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Honourable Minister for Science and Technology, to prepare and submit a revised 25-year roadmap for the implementation of the National Space Policy to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval.

There is a need to install the necessary infrastructure required for the actualisation of the goals and objectives of Nigeria’s space policy and programme, said the President.

The President, therefore, urged NASDRA to engage in partnerships with other relevant stakeholders and the private sector to achieve its outlined objectives.

He further stated: “The present administration is committed to developing our society by engaging relevant human resources for the socio-economic improvement of our nation.

“We shall be steadfast in providing the required support towards the success of the space programme, as well as relevant resources needed for its growth and successful realisation of the mandates of the nation’s space agency.”

Buhari commended Dr. Halilu Shaba, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NASDRA, and the agency, for the satellites already launched.

Nonetheless, the President charged Dr. Shaba on the need to do more, saying, “I am very proud of the strides we have achieved with the launch of NigeriaSat-1, NigeriaSat-2, Nigcomsat-1R, and NigeriaSat-X.

“Of tremendous interest to me is NigeriaSat-X which was designed and built to flight standards by our engineers and scientist.”

He also told Dr. Shaba: “I expect you to drive your team towards the attainment of these goals which deepens your relevance in our national construct while inspiring millions of our youth to explore the opportunities in this field.”

The CEO of NASRDA chief equally updated the participants on the status of the NigeriaSat-2, and the progress made on building and launching of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (Nigeria SAR-1), and on Optical Earth Observation Satellite (NigeriaSat-3).

He urged intensified funding of the agency’s activities towards achieving the set objectives and gave a detailed briefing on NASRDA’s support to the military in the fight against terrorism in the country.

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