By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
The Nigerian Institute of Space Engineers (NISE), has reiterated the need for a special presidential budgetary intervention to enable the space agency achieve its mandate.
Dr Sadiq Umar, the national chairman of NISE made this call on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Part of the mandate, according to Umar, is the implementation of the National Space Research and Development Agency’s (NASRDA) Roadmap of 2030.
He said the roadmap included building indigenous competence in developing, designing and building appropriate hardware and software in space technology as a tool for socio-economic development.
Umar said the regular agency’s budget was insufficient for it to achieve its mandate, especially the establishment of an Assembly, Integration and Testing Laboratory (AITL) for the design and launch of satellites from Nigerian soil.
According to him, NISE and NASRDA have the human capacity to carry out these mandates but we are handicapped by poor funding.
“Based on the plan and the roadmap of NASRDA, by now we should be able to design and launch satellite using our facilities.
“We have more than 200 PhD holders in the agency and we have an institute with all its courses accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
“NISE is pushing through its parent body, the Nigerian Society of Engineers to reach the President, requesting that we don’t just need the laboratories but need special fund interventions.
“NASRDA should be removed from the line budget. There are a lot of bureaucratic bottlenecks if you have to go through the budget,” he said.
Umar said that making impact in the space industry needed proper funding to facilitate the implementation of the space agency’s roadmap. (NAN)