The Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says Nigeria can use space technology to tackle corruption and ensure good governance in the country.
Onu said this at the 2020 National Space Media Dialogue on Space Science and Technology organised by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in collaboration with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) in Abuja.
The minister said that the Nigerian Space Policy was established with the aim of addressing socio-economic problems facing the country, to improve the living standard of Nigerians.
“Corruption is detrimental to the development of our economy, every government should fight corruption to ensure good governance and achieve a stronger economy and strengthen our national security.
“Science and technology are critical in the fight against corruption, intelligence gathering, administration of justice, which are very important in fighting corruption.
“Space science and satellite technology play critical role in intelligence gathering and mobile communication.
“They represent the essential tool in the fight against corruption,” he said.
Onu also said that space science can help improve several sectors of the economy like communication, agriculture, environment, national Security, education and industry.
He added that efforts were in place to replace the expired earth observation satellite in the orbit to provide data that will enable decision making in government.
“The agency will continue its human capacity development until we have the facilities to execute and implement our space policy to put Nigeria among top nations in the world in space science and technology,” he said.
The minister said that policies like the Executive Order 005 and the National Strategy on Competitiveness in Raw Materials, if implemented could help boost the economy and make it competitive globally.
Dr Francis Chizea, Acting NASRDA Director-General said the event was to present the agency’s scorecard and engage in intellectual discourse on issues of national and global interest.
Chizea said that the space agency has seven activity centres and eight research laboratories across the country adding that it was committed to achieving its mandates by ensuring good governance, the design and building of indigenous satellites expected to be launched locally.
“We are confident that we can achieve this, as we have gathered relevant, adequate knowledge coupled with the success recorded with the launch of Nigeria Sat-X, solely designed and built to flight standard by our engineers and scientists using facilities of our technical partners in Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, UK.
“We shall not relent as the agency continues to train and retrain her scientsts and engineers not to just acquire degrees but to focus on acquiring knowledge predicated on solving problems for our socio-economic development.
“There is need to appraise the technological dynamism and efficiency of space science and technology to promote good governance and curb corruption, given its critical role in modern technology,” he said.
He added that there was need for African leaders to be more conscious as well as appreciate good governance to deepen democracy leading to elimination of corruption for growth.
Chizea further said that emerging technologies like space-dependent technologies provided ways to revolutionise operations at all levels.
He said the agency was aligning its activities towards complimenting the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari on good governance and curbing corruption that had maimed the society.
Mr Leonard Ekeh, Chief Executive Officer, Zinox Technologies, said the 21st century was a data century whereby progress can be made through space technology.
“Space technology holds the key to ensuring education, electronic election, building entrepreneurship, strong security system, quality audits, among others,” he said.
Sen. Boroffice Ajayi,the pioneer NASRDA DG urged the leadership of the agency to refocus on its mandate so it can address the socio-economic problems of the country.
The FCT Minister, Mr Musa Bello, represented by Mr Jato Abdulkareem, said there was need for the country to invest in space science technology for national development.