President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed a renewed commitment to the space sector, describing it as the foundation of cyber security and a vibrant digital economy.
The President made the expression in Abuja at a meeting with members of the National Space Council of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA.
He noted that space was providing a new frontier for human development in technological advancement and economic innovation, offering a unique challenge and platform for effective exploration and exploitation of natural resources and the protection of environment.
To this end, President Buhari directed the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, to prepare a revised 25-year roadmap for the implementation of the National Space Policy
and submit to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval.
He urged the Minister to work with other agencies and components of government on how best they could utilize tools at resolving critical issues confronting the country.
The President said government would 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.
While commending NARSDA for the satellites already launched, the President charged the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency to do more, saying that he was particularly impressed with the NigeriaSat-X, which was designed and built to flight standards by Nigerian engineers and scientists.
The Director General of NASRDA, Dr Halilu Ahmed Shaba, who updated the meeting 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, Nigeria’s at-3, craved for intensified funding of the agency’s activities to enable it achieve the set objectives.
He also gave a detailed briefing on the agency’s support to the Military in their fight against terrorists, the geovisualisation of terrorist activities; providing digital support for agriculture and several other capabilities in population activities, distribution of infrastructure and projects monitoring.