The Federal Government is soon to allocate 1% of the National Gross Domestic Product to fund research and development in the country.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this when the Technical Committee on Nigeria’s Space Programme paid him a courtesy call on Thursday, in Abuja .

Dr Onu said all areas of research and development, including space exploration will benefit researchers as soon as the fund takes off.

Dr Onu further said that the National Research and Innovation Council will soon be constituted by Mr President to boast research and ensure the deployment of science and technology to boost the economy.

The Federal Government will also enhance the manpower capacity in the space sector through advance training in order to make Nigeria a space nation, he added.

Dr Onu further said that the Federal Government will also facilitate the development of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence so as to further research in marine underwater and the ocean.

  According to the Minister, there are so many minerals resources underneath the ocean that need to be explored for the benefit of the nation.

Dr Onu assured the Committee of the support of the Ministry in its efforts to enhance space exploration.

 According to the Minister, with the affiliation of our Space Agency with Pan- African University, more Nigerians will be trained in Space Science technology.

 Dr Onu assured the Committee that, the Mistry will collaborate with it to encourage research development in space science technology in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Professor Clifford Teme had said Nigeria had so many lofty ideas on space exploration but what was lacking is funding.

He assured the Minister that the Committee will do its utmost to make Nigeria a foremost nation in space research.

 He also appealed to the Minister to ensure that the proposed African Space Agency is domesticated in Nigeria given its pioneering role in space research and exploration.

Professor Clifford Teme, commended an agency of the Ministry        (NARSDA) for its efforts in space research and capacity building of its workforce by producing 161 Ph. D holders in space science technology.

AbdulGaniyu Aminu

Head of Press& Public Relations Unit