Nigeria has generated about £175,000 (N44 million) as satellite monitoring royalties from the Nigeria Sat-1in the orbit, through the supply of imagery capturing and analysing of imagery to other countries.
Seidu Mohammed, director general of Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the 2010 ministerial press briefing of the ministry of science and technology.
“Our international collaborators worldwide have sent us a cheque of 175,000 pounds for sales imageries from Nigeria Sat-1,” he said.
Mr. Mohammed also hinted that Nigeria, being a member of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC), a global association of satellite owners, has begun to reap the proceeds of its satellite in the orbit.
The said revenue generated has been remitted to the federal government treasuries, according to him.
Another N600 million, which would have been spent on land use mapping, has also been saved as SAT-1 has been used to successfully complete the land use mapping project of the country.
The director general stated that when a similar project was carried out in 1996, the sum of N600 million was spent and foreign consultants were hired, “but with Nigeria Sat-1, we have completed the mapping at no cost. Experts from our agency and the universities were used and this has saved us N500 million,” Mr. Mohammed said.
Mohammed Abubakar, minister of science and technology, while corroborating the claim of the NARSDA boss, said that space programme is no longer an exclusive venture reserved for certain nations, but has now become an open playing field with opportunities for all nations of the world to explore and to exploit, stressing that “space industry in the world constitutes one of the major economic sectors contributing substantially to income and employment.”
Moving up to Sat 2
The minister said the huge gains and advantages from space exploration, including its spin-off benefits, have so deeply integrated space technology into everyday life that modern society cannot function efficiently without it.
Today, the products and services of space technology are employed in virtually every facet of our day-to-day living such as weather monitoring, telecommunications, environmental and water resources management, search and rescue disaster management, national security, medicine, etc.
Mr. Abubakar noted that the development, building, and launch of the Nigeria’ second earth observation satellite (NIGERIASAT-2), Niger-Sat 2, to be launched in the first quarter of 2011, will bring about the revolution of high resolution data in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
He stated that when Nigeria Sat-2 becomes functional, it will also provide valuable data for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the Seven Point Agenda, and the Vision 2020 in the key sector of the nation’s economy.
On the level of work on the new satellite, he said “the development and construction of high resolution earth observation satellite Nigeria Sat-2 has reached an advanced stage.”
The components are presently being transported to the launching site in Yansy, Russia.