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Nigeria needs spy satellites to tackle insecurity: NASRDA

“We must be able to detect where criminals are using global navigation techniques added to INS techniques.”

The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has called for a specialized reconnaissance satellite to address national security challenges.

In January, Peoples Gazette had reported how Nigeria’s N18 billion-satellites were “operated” overseas as the space agency deteriorated. 

It stated this on Tuesday during the inauguration of its sixth National Chairman, Dr George Okpanachi.

The inauguration held concurrently with a one-day public lecture in Abuja. Lazarus Ojigi, Director, Mission Planning IT and Data Management of NASRDA, was the guest lecturer.

He said space technology had become the driving force behind the scientific, socio-economic, military, and intelligence supremacy of developed nations of the world.

Prof Ojigi added that national security included national safety with food security, economic, social, physical, energy, environmental, border, and cybersecurity.

A reconnaissance satellite or intelligence satellite (spy satellite) is an earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications.

Prof Ojigi stated, “We must deploy a specialized satellite, reconnaissance satellite that will assist the armed forces in detecting dangerous locations.

“We need to invest in satellite infrastructure, ground segment infrastructure; you must not have satellite just to harvest information from satellites in the orbit."

He added, “Having the ground segment will help us to subscribe and optimize. You will have enough information for your security agencies and that information is encrypted for them to use.

“We also need to develop our Inertia Navigation System (INS) and Guidance; that means that we must be able to detect where criminals are using global navigation techniques added to INS techniques.”

Regarding the agency’s facilities’ crumbling state, multiple sources at the space agency had told The Gazette that NASRDA had long been unable to access information from the country’s earth observation satellites due to the “inoperative” ground station.

All the officials The Gazette had contacted explained that the ground station’s moribund state was partly linked to Mr. Buhari’s scant interest in science and technology.

It also included the influence of a “strong cabal” within the agency that benefits from estacodes derived from frequent foreign trips to retrieve information from Nigeria’s satellites.

Various sources revealed that the station’s breakdown had equally resulted in a loss of revenue for the country.


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