Experts have studied the possibilities of extending the country’s resources to exploring space research potentials in boosting our Gross Domestic Products, GDP, and channelling revenue generated into servicing economic needs.
But there’s no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria already has an institute burdened with the responsibility to coordinate activities regarding this sector.
The Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, has upon its shoulders the mandate geared towards making space science and technology application an integral part of the overall strategies for sustainable national development.
This Agency’s vision is to make Nigeria create indigenous competence in developing, designing, and building appropriate hard and software in space technology as an essential tool for its Socio-Economic development and enhancement of the quality of life of its people.
However, Government stakeholders have acknowledged that the obligation to grow space research in the country shouldn’t be left to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs alone, thereby calling on prominent private sector interests to participate in the process.
ACCI, NASRDA to Explore Space Research Benefits
In the words of two influential persons from the sector, the President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, and the Director of Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, Dr Halilu Ahmad Shaba, advocated for Nigerian Private Sector to take a serious interest in space sector economy and associated business value chain.
Conversing at an interactive session at the ACCI office in Abuja yesterday, the ACCI President canvassed a more robust relationship between the space agency and the Organized Private Sector, stressing that all related parties need to explore opportunities in the space economy.
He said the nation is aware that the space economy is vast with many opportunities, adding that the value chain is equally broad.
He said the world is presently in the space age, and the private sector is the emerging platform we are witnessing in developed parts of the globe.
Abubakar noted that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s movement and the space agency must collaborate with sensitive businesses and explore areas of interest.
He reiterated the need for Nigeria to join the rest of the world to harvest the many prospects of the space economy and observe how it could help in reducing dependency on crude oil export and other contributing sectors.
Talking about other contributing sectors, NASRDA is also charged with the responsibility of developing and managing the nation’s agricultural and forestry resources.
This, it does, by establishing a database for project planning, crop performance assessment, yields production for sustainable food growth, all in the attempt to guarantee food security.
Meanwhile, in the presentation by the space agency, the Director-General NASRDA, Dr Halilu, said the business side of space had not been explored enough by the Nigerian private sector, calling for partnership locally that will further generate foreign direct investment.
According to the DG, NASRDA has developed several business packages, which will be shared with the business community, describing the proposed partnerships with the ACCI as a game-changer.
The Vice President ICT, Mr Osi Imomoh, said ACCI recognized NASRDA as a leader in the technology space in Nigeria, adding that we can provide the business side in a mutually agreeable cooperation.
“We also hope to tap on your expertise to open up and adopt new technologies for our members and extending it to all sectors.” He said.
Also, the Vice President, Mines, Dr Johnson Anene, who was in attendance, said that the main target of the meeting is for the Chamber to promote the business interest of members and any other related opportunities that would be of great advantage to the stakeholders and the nation in general.