Home News Scribe wants FG to utilise space technology for economic growth

Scribe wants FG to utilise space technology for economic growth


Abuja -The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, has called on the Federal Government to use space technology to grow the economy.
Oyo-Ita made the call in Abuja on Thursday at the Annual Space Dialogue 2015 of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
Oyo-Ita, Guest Speaker at the event, said the status of the country could be improved if emphasis was placed on utilisation of space technologies.
“This will speed up our drive towards realising a viable socio-economic status as a nation.
Prof. Seidu Mohammed, Director-General of NASRDA, said investment in space technology, particularly communication satellites, could reel out immense economic development potentials for any nation.
He, however, described as disturbing the fact that 97 per cent of satellites hovering above and covering the African continent were owned by non-African nations and organisations.
“The owners of these satellites realise colossal financial benefits running into millions of dollars far exceeding the annual budget of some African countries.’’
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Mohammed said the huge benefits of space science and technology were the driving force for developed and emerging nations like USA and India respectively.
“Although we may have started late, we have been wise enough to leap into the realm of space faring nations possessing space technology capabilities.’’
He called on all stakeholders in the space industry to key into the successes recorded so far by the agency in the capabilities of her satellite technologies, especially the communication satellite.
“I enjoin all stakeholders to key into the space industry so as to capture Africa’s communication, broadcast and broadband markets thereby improving the mass economy of Nigeria’’, Mohammed said.
Prof. Tunji Ibiyemi, communications expert, called on the federal government to return the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat-1R) to NASRDA.
“I urge the Federal Government to return the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat-1R) to NASRDA.
“It is the original parent body, under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, mandated to effectively manage and utilise the nation’s satellite.
“This will bring about the required synergy to enable full and successful implementation of the Nigerian space programme for the overall benefit of the Nigerian people’’, he said.
According to Ibiyemi, 42 months after its successful launch, the NigComSat-1R had not recorded any appreciable achievement or impacted on the lives of the people.
“The satellite has been under-utilised due to high level of incompetence and lack of proper supervision and commitment on the part of leadership of the Nigerian communications satellite agency.
“The under-utilisation has hindered concerted efforts of the agency to better the lot of Nigerians’’, Ibiyemi said.
He suggested that communications satellites be domiciled in a commercial department under NASRDA in line with global best practice. (NAN)

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