Nigeria Is Losing N1.8trn From Space Technology.
By Bukola Roberts
Nigeria is losing N1.8 trillion (about $50 billion) annually from the underutilization of space technology. The Space technology has been slated to be next frontier in this Fourth Industrial Revolution and unless Nigeria, takes the lead to harness this potential with: awareness, fixedness, empowerment of youths with skillset and education, and public-private partnership, Nigeria will be colonized in this economy.
Indeed, due to the space program inaugurated in the country in 2001 by President Obasanjo, the space opportunity in Nigeria in terms of business and the ecosystem is valued about $50BN annually. These include the asset on ground and in space, which is roving about and untapped, Chief Operating Officer, IHS Tower Femi Arosanyin said at the Lagos Startup Week.
Speaking on the theme; NewSpace: Africa Commercial Space Sector Opportunity, Arosanyin said that the country had launched five Nigerian satellites into the orbit: Nigeria SAT1¸ NigeriaSAT2, NigeriaSAT X, NigComSAT-1, and NigComSat-1R a replacement of NigComSAT-1 due to the mishap of NigComSAT-1.
“The cost of NigComSAT at the time it was launched was N180bn, however it generates less than N1bn annually and we have only used three years from the 15-year life span of the satellite. Yet, despite the amazing projections of the satellite, the challenges we face at this level in Nigeria is because the awareness and fixedness of the government has wanned compared to the likes of former president Olusegun Obasanjo who believes that Nigeria can become a space-faring nation.’’
Speaking on partnership, he said, ‘’Space has to be driven from the private sector. Every Nigerian owes it to nation to be part of that $50 billion. We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, -age of information, disruptive technologies and satellite technology can take us there. The challenge is that we are yet to actualise it as the next big thing that can transform our lives. We have to become key players else someone else will.’’