From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Chief Executive of Zinox technologies, Dr Leo Stan Ekeh, has called for adequate funding for the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), calling it an asset that can enable the much needed socio-economic development that Nigeria seeks.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2020 Space Dialogue Conference on Space Science and Technology, Dr Ekeh said that one of Nigeria’s major problem stems from her inability to fund the space programme properly, saying no country can be truly independent without dependence on space technology.
The technology giant further stated that the key to progress in the 21st century is space technology which, according to him, has the capacity to adequately address, among other things, the problem of unemployment and propel development in Nigeria.
While congratulating the government for sustaining its timely decision in embracing and sustaining the space programme, he appreciated that the Federal Government recognises the significance of technology, with the expansion a federal ministry to include digital economy.
Dr Ekeh, however, entreated the government to steer its efforts towards ensuring that NASRDA succeeds. He said the agency currently has the campus and adequate land space for a well driven space programme to flourish for the overall benefits of Nigerians.
Also speaking, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, while declaring the event open, congratulated the agency on its 2020 space dialogue and media conference, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari recognises the role of space science and technology in the development of any society, and will continually support the space programme towards the actualization of its required mandates.
Dr Onu called on the agency to continue to strive towards the actualization of road map and mandates, particularly on its target for the design of indigenous satellites that will be launched from Nigerian soil.
He assured the staff and management of the Agency of government continuous supports in pursuance of its noble goals and for the actualization of its mandates.
The Acting Director-General of NASRDA, Dr Francis Chizea, said the agency remains irrevocably committed in her resolve to deploy space technology capabilities for the development of the nation.
He said the NASRDA, through its activities, is positioned as a strategic establishment for national development, and will continue to pursue relevant space technology in fulfilment of its strategic roles towards national development.
According to him, the agency is poised to correct erroneous impressions on the part of critics and to provide evidence based analysis that will make impact in areas of agriculture, education, communication, financial intelligence, security, and all other areas where space technology is needed.