Ministry To Support Space Agency On Project Implementation

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The Ministry of Budget and National Planning has pledged to support the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in the implementation of the GEO-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID-3) project.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, made this pledge when he received the director-general of the space agency, Dr Halilu Shaba, who led the agency’s top management team on a courtesy call on the minister.

Saying inter-ministerial synergy is a basic requirement for the actualisation of the transformation agenda of the present administration, he added no stone should be left unturned towards achieving the desired goal in this direction.

Agba explained that the ministry was happy and encouraged in its partnership with the space agency especially in the implementation of the GRID-3 project which (the ministry) is saddled with the responsibility of handling the technical aspect.

He expressed optimism that the space agency has the capacity to handle the technicality of the project to its logical conclusion for the collective benefits of the country while promising that efforts are being made to properly fund the project with the assistance of the World Bank through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He congratulated Shaba on his appointment and appealed to the management staff of the agency to support him in his determined efforts to build on the glorious achievements of the agency, particularly in the successful actualisation of its various mandates.

Earlier, in his remarks, Shaba appreciated the minister especially for his belief in the capability of the space agency to deliver on its mandates, assuring that efforts are currently being intensified towards improving on the performance and activities of the agency in order to deliver best services of international standard and practices.

He said one of the highpoints of the visit was to further keep the minister abreast of various activities, policies and programmes of the agency which according to him are prepared and articulated in the timeline given by the Federal Government for effective implementation.

The NASRDA boss said the space agency is endowed with the intellectual capacity to effectively implement the GRID-3 project with the support of relevant stakeholders like the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

He also briefed the minister on the commencement of the national boundary validation project which he said was already scheduled for May 15, 2021 in partnership with the National Population Commission (NPC) on the need to supply relevant data for the actualisation of the project, adding the agency is taking over the management of the national database from the GRID-3 programme which works with other countries to generate, validate and use geospatial data on population, settlement, infrastructure and boundaries.

The GRID-3 project combines the expertise of partners in government, United Nations, academia and the private sector to design adaptable and relevant geospatial solutions based on each country’s capacity and development needs.

Oluchi Okorafor
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