The director-general, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Halilu Shaba, has said the operational and functional capabilities of the agency’s ground station must be at their best to effectively utilise the products from the station for policy formulation development of the country.
He made this statement during the signing of the letter of intent (LOI) between the space agency and RBC Signals USA on the resuscitation of the NASRDA’s ground station at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
Shaba, who expressed satisfaction with the efforts employed by both teams, further stated the need to map out result-oriented strategies geared towards reviving the agency’s existing ground station which, according to him, was comatose as a result of inadequate management.
The NASRDA boss added that the country has the potential to contribute to its quota and, also, play a significant role in the economy, hence the need to focus more on the commercialisation of space-based activities which, by extension, would expand the revenue-generating drive of the government.
According to him, Nigeria is in space for its socio-economic development hence, the need to look inward and ensure that the ground station is fully operational and can deliver at its best level in line with international best standards.
Shaba further stated that holding the inoperative state of the ground station is like putting the country in a state of stagnation because the ground station, according to him, is the engine room of the Nigerian space programme which plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of our nation.
He called for the establishment of a ground station that can match the future of the Nigerian space programme by exploiting the aspects of astronomy and other areas of national interest.
In his presentation, the founder and chief executive officer of RBC Signals USA, Mr. Christopher Richins commended the efforts of NASRDA for extending its hands of fellowship to relevant stakeholders in the space industry which, according to him, is a giant name in ground station establishment, maintenance, operation and services.
Richins also added that the main goal of the RBC Signal is to have a platform with a network of ground stations that can serve as a centre of coordination for satellites and ground station-related activities that can aid effective communication in the global system for the benefit of mankind.
He stated further, that the platform helps in promoting interconnectivity among active players in the space industry by ensuring a combination of different capabilities of different ground stations which share relevant information amongst themselves thereby saving their respective satellites from the incidence of inactivity.
Richins, who identified NASRDA as a partner in progress, stressed the need for expansion in collaborative activities, especially in strategic areas of mutual benefits.
He further pointed out some of the products and services rendered by the RBC signals to include – but are not limited to – communication and support services in the field of teleport hosting, antenna access, terrestrial data and other field services which according to him, can help the space agency realise its goals and objectives in the space industry.