BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR,
The Federal Government said it would soon allocate 1percent of the National Gross Domestic Product(GDP) to fund research and development in the country
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, stated this when the Technical Committee on Nigeria’s Space Programme paid him a courtesy call at the weekend in Abuja.
Onu said all areas of research and development, including space exploration would benefit researchers as soon as the fund takes off.
He said that the National Research and Innovation Council would soon be constituted by Mr. President to boost research and ensure the deployment of science and technology.
He assured that the Federal Government would also enhance the human capacity development in the space sector through training to make Nigeria advanced in space training.
The minister further said that the Federal Government would also facilitate the development of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence so as to further research in marine underwater and the ocean.
He noted that there are many mineral resources underneath the ocean that need to be explored for the benefit of the nation.
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.
He pledged the collaboration of the ministry to the Committee in the efforts to encourage research and development in the 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 one of the agencies under the supervision of the Ministry, that is, National Space Technology Development Agency, for its efforts in space research and capacity building of its workforce through producing 161 Ph. D holders in space science technology.