Nigeria has strongly canvassed the need for African Space Centre to be located on her shores.
The Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, made the case when he received the African Union Panel for the Assessment of selected African countries to host the African Space Centre.
Nigeria, Dr. Onu said, deserves to host the centre considering its pioneering role in space exploration, its potentials and resources as well as its financial contribution to the African Union.
Nigeria, Dr. Onu added had made giant strides in space development, adding that it was Nigeria space satellites that first alerted the United States of America on the hurricane Katrina that assailed the country in 2005.
Dr. Onu further told the panel that Nigeria had invested massively in capacity building of space professionals and would be too willing to share its technical know-how with other African countries.
According to Dr. Onu, space technology could address illegal migration across the Mediterranean, reduce poverty and contribute significantly to Africa’s development.
Dr. Onu urged African countries to invest in space technology so as to boost their economy. He further said that the economic leverage of the United States of America was due to its investment in space technology.
According to Dr. Onu, space technology had vast untapped potentials which, if explored, could open a window for economic development of the continent.
“Our thrust has always been to domesticate our exploration in space science and technology to diversify our economy and boost our economic potentials”, Dr. Onu added.
Dr. Onu assured the panel on the resolve of all the arms of Nigeria’s government to collaborate in achieving the aim of hosting the space agency.
In his speech, the Chairman of the African Panel for the Assessment of hosting of African Space Centre, Professor Chaabouni Mohammed had stressed that space technology development represents the true power of any nation. He added the panel will assess Nigeria’s application to host the African Space Center using certain criteria and will also inspect facilities on the ground to enable it determine the suitability of the country for the right.
Head Press and Public Relations
Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
26th October 2018.