Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India on “Cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes”. The signing was concluded on August 13 at the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, Abuja.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan through video link. Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria attended the event in Abuja. Mr R Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary at ISRO was also present through video link from ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan had earlier signed the agreement from the Indian side. Dr Francis Chizea Director General of National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA), Nigeria signed the MoU last week.
The MoU envisages India and Nigeria’s collaboration in space science, planetary exploration, ground stations, development of micro and mini satellites and joint Space R&D.
It provides for capacity building assistance by ISRO, exchange of scientific know-how, exchanges between academic institutes and joint symposiums/conferences. Cooperation in remote sensing, communications and navigation hope to benefit Nigeria in the fields of forestry, environment, agriculture, mining, watershed development and connectivity.
Over the last 12 years, 49 Nigerian nationals have attended various short-term ITEC courses in India in the fields of Remote Sensing, GIS and Geoinformatics, conducted by the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun; Geological Survey of India Training Institute, Hyderabad; and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Noida. The recent MoU will further enhance India’s capacity-building assistance to Nigeria.
On the occasion, both sides also agreed to sign a subsidiary MoU between New Space India Limited (NSIL), under ISRO, and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria, on cooperation in the use of Geospatial Technologies.