The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is reporting that the Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology, Abdu Bulama, has said that Nigeria would design, fabricate, test and launch its indiginous satellite by 2018.
Bulama stated this while inspecting facilities at the Obasanjo Space Centre of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). The minister said the center had the mandate to launch Nigeria’s first indigenous satellite by 2018, and described space science and technology program as an important component of the Nigerian dream.
According to him, the satellite program has a positive role to play in the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Bulama directed that the assembly, testing and integration center, and the Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite, which are under construction, be completed by 2015.
According to Bulama, competence and capabilities in satellite technology serve as tool for national growth and a huge contribution to the development and benefit of mankind.
Earlier, the Director-General of NASRDA, Seidu Mohammed, who conducted Bulama around the facilities, said the agency could boast of world-class technology in terms of facilities. Mohammed said that the about six million U.S. dollars (about N1 billion) annual budgetary allocation to NASRDA was inadequate, given the huge development expected of the agency.
The director-general also said that no serious country allocates less than 100 million U.S. dollars to its space agency. According to him, NASRDA pays N1.6 million monthly to an Israeli company to maintain facilities at one of the centers of the agency. He said the Emergency Management Project of the agency could be used in tracking kidnapped victims, car theft, pipeline vandalization, fire outbreak, flood and accidents.