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FG adopts new approach to fight insurgency, others


Indications have emerged that the National Space Research and Development Agency, a Federal Government’s agency responsible for the deployment of satellites, has begun to use drones to carry out its duties.


Our correspondent learnt the development was informed by the huge costs involved in launching satellites.

The agency is also hoping that upon the completion of its Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Centre, it will design, manufacture and launch satellites from the country.

NigeriaSat-X, the country’s satellite in the orbit, was designed in the United Kingdom by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and launched in Russia.

The satellite, which cost the country billions of dollars, was expected to, among other things, aid security agencies to fight insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and the herdsmen-farmers’ crisis.

There had been concerns that the inability of the security agencies to effectively subdue the Boko Haram sect and stop kidnapping and other forms of banditry was because the satellite had not been effective.

However, responding to enquiries by our correspondent on Friday, the spokesman for NASRDA, Mr Felix Ale, said the satellite had been aiding the work of the security agencies.

Ale, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said relevant data obtained from NigeriaSat-X was made available to the security agencies.

According to Ale, the satellite actually mapped Sambisa forest, believed to be the stronghold of the Boko Haram sect, and data obtained in the course of the operation was given to security agencies.

He said, “Part of the work of the space agency is to provide support to the military and the security agencies through the provision of relevant data that could help them do their job. That is what we have been doing and for security reasons, we don’t usually disclose it.

“Even the Sambisa, we have been able to map out the area and make the data available to the security agencies.

“We give out data from time to time; we have been playing our part.”

He disclosed, however, that due to the huge costs involved in launching satellites, the agency was shifting attention to drones.

Drones are cheaper and, in some cases, can perform the same functions as satellites or even more.

He said, “We have discovered that drones can also perform some of these functions. So, we are now looking at the possibility of using drones to come up with devices to assist security agencies and also for the development of this country.

“Launching satellites now is very expensive. Some of these drones are not so expensive and you can deploy them to get real-time data, so, if there is a problem in a particular area, we can use them to map out the area and get whatever information we need, just like with satellites.

“So, that is exactly what the space agency is doing now. We believe that is going to help the country.”

He said the agency had not abandoned satellites.

According to him, when the Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Centre at the Obasanjo Space Centre is completed, NASRDA will be able to design, manufacture and launch satellites from Nigeria.

The AITC was described as the ‘engine room for the designing and manufacturing of satellites’.

“It is not like we are not going to be launching satellites; by the time we finish our AITC, we should be able to design and think of launching our own satellite here in Nigeria.

“The centre will enable us to launch as many as we want and also launch for other nations so as to generate revenue for Nigeria.”

1 comment:

  1. If Nigeria can do this for out development there will be good security to captured those terrorist that is terrorizes us in Nigeria. Units Nigeria become a cooking pot for less privileged, we might never be best country.

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