The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has been advised to take advantage of satellite applications to stimulate national development.
Prof Ajayi Boroffice, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja at the official handing over of the NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X to NASRDA by the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL).
He urged the agency to intensify efforts at ensuring that applications from satellites were used to address security, flood and other national challenges confronting the country.
Boroffice said though allocation to the agency and the science sector was inadequate, the use of satellite applications for national development would help the agency seek support for more funding.
He said it was unfortunate that in spite of its significance to national development, the budgetary allocation to the science sector was not enough.
“I want to say one of the ways we can win the heart of Nigerians and the law makers is to ensure that these satellites are put into use, particularly in the area of data utilisation.
“You must be sensitive to what is happening in our environment, you must show your readiness to work with the government.
“What happened in Jos recently where the two of our colleagues were killed is a very sad situation.
“It will be interesting to have a detail image mapping of Jos, to see where the route where some of these people move in and out so as to provide security assistance to security agencies.
“Even without been asked you should be able to do that. The recent flooding in Lagos has been a big problem, is an area where you can capture it and also draw the attention of Lagos state government to the relevance of satellite technology in solving the flood problem of Lagos state.
“When you do these, it helps us in our advocacy in getting more support to ST and also NASRDA in particular. ’’
The senator stressed the need for adequate funding to complete the ongoing construction of the agency’s Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) / Design Centre (DC) in FCT for the manufacturing of spacecraft.
He said: “We have a very important project on hand and that is the AIT&DC and that is the only infrastructure that will give those we have trained, the opportunity to practice what they have learnt; and the more we delay it, the more that knowledge degenerates.
“So, it is very important that we finish this DC and AIT, so that the engineers can have hands-on experience. “
In his remark, Mr Abiodun Akinlade, Chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology, called for the sustained efforts and capacity building in space technology.
He said giving proper attention to science and technology would create the necessary condition for the country to achieve its objectives.
He also advised the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to vote a reasonable percentage of its budget for the development of the country’s space technology.
“This country cannot move forward until special attention to science and technology; we are talking about advanced countries today.