By Chinenye Anuforo, [email protected]
The director-general of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Halilu Shaba, has stressed the need for the development of satellite technology as a veritable tool in tackling the menace of insecurity in the country, which is causing havoc in the political, social and economic fabrics of the nation.
He made the call during a session in Abuja as a special presentation in honour of his formal assumption of office as the substantive DG of the space agency. The NASRDA boss described the agency as a strategic partner, as it possesses relevant capabilities and specialization in providing support towards combating security challenges.
According to him, the agency has a lot to do by ensuring collaboration with relevant security organisations to combat the security situation, which has portrayed Nigeria in bad light to the rest of the world.
Shaba reiterated the need for Nigeria to “take our place in space and also take our place on earth” by providing the necessary ingredients for the development of the Nigerian society through the instrumentality of space science and technology.
The NASRDA DG advocated inclusiveness, collectivism and capacity-building as essential tools for policy formulation and implementation of the National Space Programme.
The NASRDA helmsman further said that, with the medium and high resolution satellites used in times past to provide images to security agencies, NASRDA was ready to deploy the capabilities of these satellites in providing data of flash point areas which will be highly beneficial in the fight against insecurity.
He also advocated the creation of a ‘National Reconnaissance Centre’ in collaboration with security agencies under the control of the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), where relevant security information will be domiciled.
Shaba expressed his commitment towards pursuing the realisation of NASRDA’s mandate which among other things include the deployment of space technology in providing solutions to the problem of mankind. He called for collaboration between stakeholders, especially the Defence Space Administration (DSA) who are in the forefront of providing solutions to insecurity in the country using space technology.
In his remarks, the immediate past acting director-general of NASRDA, Dr. Francis Chizea, called for full cooperation, especially among relevant stakeholders with the aim of achieving the objectives of the National Space Programme of which the space agency plays a leading role.
Chizea stressed the need for management and staff of the agency to be passionate and ensure team work as this will serve as a springboard for taking the Agency and Nigeria as a country to higher heights.
He concluded that all hands must be on deck by to achieve the effective implementation of the National Space Programme and most importantly, make NASRDA our common collective interest.
The event was capped by goodwill messages from directors of the National Space Agency and its activity centres amd laboratories across the country.