The director-general of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Halilu Shaba, has advocated the necessity of fundamental commitment to productive and creative alliances between the agency and apposite stakeholders for the overall well-being of Nigerians.
He made this known during a visit by the Agro-climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project delegation from the World Bank to the headquarters of the agency in Abuja.
Shaba, who expressed delight in the collaboration with the World Bank, described the ACReSAL project as a feat that the space agency is willing and able to optimally participate in and bring to actualisation.
He said that one of the reasons why NASRDA is known for its scores of worthwhile collaborations within and beyond the sphere of space science and technology is its proven ability as a provider of spatial services to willing partners of the agency and promised that NASRDA will do all in its power to deliver cutting edge solutions and assistance to the ACReSAL project.
Shaba assured the team that NASRDA, as a repository of all satellite data over Nigeria’s intelligence, is armed especially in the area of human resources, to provide monitoring and evaluation of physical interventions, institutional training on geospatial technology at the community level, establishment and operationalisation of the ACReSAL Spatial Data Centre, facilitation and coordination of spatial information management-related activities in ACReSAL, amongst other services.
The NASRDA boss, however, urged the team to provide thorough information and specifications to enable the agency’s experts provide bespoke services and show its capabilities in collating, data analysing and monitoring.
In her remarks, the head of the delegation from the World Bank, Dr. Joy Agene appreciated the director-general and the management team of NASRDA for the warm reception and expressed elation at the opportunity to work with the space agency.
Agene, a former staff of the agency, described NASRDA as “home” and expressed the willingness of the bank and other stakeholders such as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to work with the agency in geospatial monitoring and evaluation, an integral part of the ACReSAL project.
She stated that the project which is proposed to be carried out in the 19 northern states – including the Federal Capital Territory – will begin implementation immediately the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is signed.
Agene added that a sequence of the needs and expectations of the agency from the World Bank be duly documented in the MoU to allow for prioritised execution.
A statement by M&CC signed by Ninma Yaxim, said Agene, however, pleaded that other centre of excellence and laboratories of the agency, situated in the north-east, north-west and north-central regions of the country be brought aboard for faster implementation.