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President Tinubu’s directive on satellite data access is misplaced

Today, a careful study of many of the ministries, departments and agencies in the country and their functions and mandates will show that indeed there…

Today, a careful study of many of the ministries, departments and agencies in the country and their functions and mandates will show that indeed there are so many of our national institutions in existence that are performing the same functions. With the advent of this administration, which is a renewed hope dispensation, we have hoped that the era where government’s ministries, departments and agencies, fight each other over functions duplications are gone forever but recent events point to the fact that this issue is very much with us and many are already calling on the president to immediately put measures in place to nip it in the bud.

The recent directive by the president to all governmental agencies to go to the National Population Commission, NPC, for satellites data they need is anything but a violation of the acts that created the NPC and a deliberate incursion into the functions and mandates of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA.

Looking carefully at the enabling acts that created the NASRDA and NPC will show that the NASRDA is by law the only repository of satellites data over the country and any other agency carrying out this function is guilty of contravening the laws of the land. Section 6(k) of the NASRDA Act 2010 stated very clearly that, “NASRDA shall be the repository of all satellites data over Nigeria’s territories and accordingly, all collaborations and consultations in space data related matters in Nigeria shall be carried out or undertaken by or with the agency.

Recently it was observed that NPC acquired satellites images and data over Nigeria without recourse to NASRDA and this was a clear violation of the laws and must never be allowed to continue.

We trust and know that our president, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is a known respecter of the laws of the country and a proponent for the country having strong institutions was misled into mandating agencies of government to make recourse to NPC for satellite data.

There are many areas of concerns this directive as the NPC does not have the requisite manpower to manage satellites data.

It is therefore advisable that the president reassess his recent directive on this issue.

 

Musa Wada is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja

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