The NASRDA which began many years ago as a response to the citizens’ quest for having a new frontier for human development will serve as a catalyst and a stimulant for increased technological advancement and economic innovation offering a unique platform for effective exploration of natural resources and protection of its environment, has however continue to function despite the funding challenges it faced.
NASRDA, which is made up of 16 other sub-agencies to lay a solid foundation for Nigeria’s cyber security and a vibrant digital economy that is at the forefront of progress and development across the country, has recorded a lot of successes despite its constraints.
One cannot deny the colossal financial muscle required to venture into any meaningful exploration of space – which to a great extent accounts for why most developing nations like Nigeria are still lagging behind in this.
In recent years, there has been a drop in total allocations to the agency. Over 90 per cent of its budget is often for paying salaries (personnel) which has gulped over N19.9 billion while a paltry N1.8 billion is for capital and N1.16 billion for overhead.
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That Nigeria’s dream to launch into space by 2030 does not look any closer to reality is not due to the mismanagement of budgetary provisions to NASDRA by its present leadership but because of the rising cost of space exploration.
Factors such as policy somersaults in the past have also hindered our journey to space greatness.
Today, investment in satellite and space technology is beginning to have a significant impact on the socioeconomic development of Nigeria although the political, social and technical challenges that have slowed efforts to reach the Promised Land.
Musa Wada wrote from Abuja