By Ijeoma Olorunfemi/Sylvester Thompson
The Federal Government on Thursday urged the media to prioritise reportage of space, science and technology activities in the country to enhance socio-economic development and growth.
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made the call during the 2021 Dialogue/National Media Conference on Space, Science, Technology and Innovation in Abuja.
Organised by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), the media dialogue is a yearly event aimed at reviewing the activities of the space agency.
Onu, represented by the Minister of State Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said government had made huge efforts towards ensuring growth in the areas of space, science and technology in the country.
He said that the gap between developed countries and the under-developed ones was the ability of the former to deploy digitisation, science and technology for their development.
“The theme of the conference is important because space, science and technology pose the solution to human challenges.
“There is need for all to accord priority to space, science and technology reportage which will ensure public awareness that will drive development,” he said.
On his part, Abdullahi said the federal government had kept implementing space policy and programmes through NASRDA for the socio-economic development of the nation.
The speech of the minister of state was delivered by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Sunday Akpan.
He said the propagation of space activities would correct erroneous impressions of the space programmes and provide evidence-based analysis in agriculture, education, security and all areas of space technology application for better transformation.
“The dialogue will further push the narrative of the significance of the space programmes to achieve a nation of our dreams,” Abdullahi said.
He added that the post COVID-19 era required the use of space-dependent applications in making the society a better place.
Abdullahi advised the space agency to leverage on emerging technologies to address human challenges.
The Director-General of NASRDA, Dr Halilu Shaba, said the agency was committed to propagating space capabilities to keep the nation and the public abreast of the benefits of space applications.
Shaba said “NASRDA remains enduringly committed in her determination to fulfil her mandate, by deploying capabilities in Space Science and Technology for the enhancement and realisation of a better life for the ordinary Nigerian.
“Since inception in 1999, the space agency has assiduously continued to positively thrive towards the realisation of this mandate with its activity centres and laboratories spread across the various geo-political zones of the country.
“We want to assure you that we are still committed and on the right path to our 25-year roadmap as approved by the Federal Executive Council.”
Dr Felix Ale, Head, Media and Corporate Communications, NASRDA, solicited media cooperation for space programmes propagation.
“We urge the media to continue in the publicity of the space programmes for the good of the society as it is for the socio-economic development of the nation,” he said. (NAN)