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Nigeria Boosts Space Spending

File Photo: Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo looks at an aerial view on a computer screen at the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) 09 February 2000 in the southwestern city of Toulouse during the fouth day of his state visit to France. Photo by Jean Loup Gautreau - Copyright AFP
Abuja - August 8, 2001
Nigeria is planning to spend N9 billion ($US25.4 million) over the next three years implementing the nation's National Space Policy and Programme. The initative reported by This Day was announced July 27 by the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner Isoun

In presenting the policy, Prof Isoun said Nigeria planned to spend N3 billion [US$25.4 million] every year for the next three years. Adding that he hoped this year's allocation would be released soon by the government to ensure that the implementation would not suffer any set-backs.

According to This Day the program constitutes an important component of Nigeria's national strategy for socio-economic development through space application and participation in the global economy.

Isoun said the policy aimed at aiding the national development and how to manage its agriculture and forestry through the establishment of database for project planning, crop performance assessment, yield production for sustainable food production thereby ensuring food security.

He said the development of an effective and efficient communication system, enhancement of the nation's transportation, tourism enterprises, defence and security were part of the thrust of the policy.

"Our space programme is neither an ego trip nor a white elephant project that is delinked from our national efforts at improving the quality of life of our people. We cannot at this stage engage ourselves in the luxury of space-faring like the developed countries even though we cannot run away from the imperatives of acquiring the know-how in this area," said Isoun.

Isoun said the Nigerian government had to embark on the programme in realisation of the fact that space technology reflected the power of a nation, and that Nigeria as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space [COPUOS] was committed to the ideal that the exploration and use of outer space should be carried out for peaceful purposes.

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Nigeria Establishes Space Office
Lagos (AFP) July 4, 2001
The Nigerian government has agreed to spend 10.5 billion naira (93.75 million dollars) on a satellite project over the next three years, but is not yet planning to put Nigerians in space, officials said Friday.

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