19 May 2021 Industry News

Nigeria appoints new space agency head

The new Director General of Nigeria’s Space Agency (NSA), Dr Halilu Shaba.
The new Director General of Nigeria’s Space Agency (NSA), Dr Halilu Shaba.

The new Director General of Nigeria’s Space Agency (NSA) Dr Halilu Shaba has been offered unqualified support by the country’s Minister of State for Budget & National Planning Prince Clem Agba in the successful realisation of its mandates to support the wider growth and development of the country.

Prince Agba made the statement in Abuja, the federal capital city of Nigeria when playing host to Dr Shaba this week. He said inter-ministerial synergy is a basic requirement for the transformation agenda of the present administration in the country under President Mohammadu Buhari, adding that no stone would be left unturned towards achieving the desired goal in this direction.

Prince Agba, who eulogised the virtues of the new Director General as a distinguished Nigerian, explained that the Ministry is happy and encouraged in its partnership with the Nigerian Space Agency, especially in the implementation of the GEO-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID-3) project which the NSA is responsible for technical implementation.

The Minister expressed optimism that the NSA has the capacity to handle the technical aspects of the project and bring it to a logical conclusion for the collective benefit of the country while promising that efforts are being made to properly fund the project with the assistance of the World Bank through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Dr Shaba assured the Minister that efforts are currently being intensified towards improving on the performance and activities of the agency in order to deliver the best services meeting international standard and practices for the people of Nigeria.

He said the Space Agency is endowed with the intellectual capacity and capability to effectively implement the GRID-3 project along with the support of relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Nigeria’s National Space Research & Development Agency is reputed for its achievements across the space science and technology sectors in Africa and is currently taking over the management of the national database from the GRID-3 programme which works with other countries to generate, validate and use geospatial data on population, settlement, infrastructure and boundaries.

GRID-3 combines the expertise of partners in government, the United Nations, academia and the private sector to design adaptable and relevant geospatial solutions based on each country’s capacity and development needs.

Through the NSA, Nigeria a member and signatory on the peaceful uses of Outer Space Treaty and currently has three satellites in the orbit - one communication satellite and two remote sensing satellites.

Prior to his appointment as Director-General, Dr Shaba was the Director of Strategic Space Applications of the agency. He is a distinguished scientist and has already contributed significantly to the development of space science and technology in Nigeria and across Africa.

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