A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba has emphasised the need for operative legislation for the unrelenting implementation of the Nigerian Space Programme.
Agbakoba made this call when he paid a courtesy call on the director-general of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Halilu Shaba at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
The legal luminary who thought that space-related activities in the 21st century are platforms for societal development, stated that the future of mankind is space; hence the need for laws that will not only strengthen the agency but give it the necessary legal backing to actualise its constitutional mandate as well to operate in line with current trends in the global space industry.
Agbakoba called for a re-jig of NASRDA’s space policy to include licensing of space objects, as more people show interest in space with some emerging and strategic developments in the critical sector.
He said, there was no better time than now to reaffirm the clear roles and mandate of the agency for the avoidance of conflict between the agency and other players in the space industry.
Agbakoba maintained that NASRDA, being the only agency saddled with the responsibility to build and launch satellites, must have the legal and necessary support to actualise the Nigeria Space Agenda for the overall benefit of the people.
According to him, the space industry is a potential source of revenue generation for the country, especially in the area of space technology and tourism which he described as “veritable platforms that will produce the next set of billionaires in the country” sooner than expected.
The legal icon appreciated the efforts of NASRDA in synergising with both private and public organisations as well as relevant stakeholders in mapping out strategies and ensuring proper implementation for the successful implementation of the Nigerian Space Programme.
In his remarks, Shaba thanked Agbakoba for the interest shown in the space programme especially the various submissions as it relates to the Nigerian Space Programme.
According to him, the Nigerian Space Policy currently being implemented by NASRDA requires necessary review to allow for effective participation in the commercialisation of space programmes and activities for improved revenue generation.
The NASRDA boss, who emphasised the strategic role the agency plays in the socio-economic development of the country, explained that NASRDA by its mandate is designed to build and launch satellites as well as regulate all space-related activities in the country.
He said the agency will continue to build bridges in the spirit of result-oriented collaborations with relevant stakeholders and organizations who share the incisive vision and play significant or complementary roles in the realisation of its goals and objectives.
The NASRDA helmsman promised to extend the agency’s hands of fellowship, especially in the implementation of key objects through collaborations to achieve the critical mandate of the agency for the progress and development of the country.