Nigeria, November 12, 2014: The Federal Government of Nigeria is mulling to extensively use space technology to tackle environmental challenges.
Director of the National Centre for Remote Sensing (NCRS), Effron Nduke Gajere, told media, “It is noteworthy that the Federal Government is determined to reposition space technology to engender accelerated socio-economic development and this is expected to lead to increased remote sensing and GIS-based activities in Nigeria.
Addressing the delegates at the second Regional Workshop on Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) held at the Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, he added, “Worldwide, space technology has been recognised as the driver of socio-economic development and the exploration of space has always been a central aspiration for human beings across the globe.”
“Space technology on its part has yielded a number of spin-off benefits that has tangibly improved our daily lives and is helping us to address a range of daunting socio-economic and environmental challenges including poverty eradication, environmental protection and disaster prediction, monitoring and mitigation,” he said.
The conference themed Space Based Technologies in Disaster Management and Mitigation was aimed at bringing together experts and researchers from different background to brainstorm on the critical issues of the application of remote sensing data and GIS methodologies in providing solutions to critical developmental challenges particularly in the area of disaster management in Nigeria.
Speaking after Gajere, the Director General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Prof. Shuabu Mohammed said that there was no doubt that the development of space technology has taken a positive turn in Africa for the good of the African people, particularly with the current efforts in indigenous capacity building and emergence of regional co-operation in space science and technology development and applications.
He, however, added that though space technology had help Africa and Nigeria in environmental challenges; a lot still needed to be done in order to harness the full potential in the sector. “But in order for developing countries to be able to mainstream space technology in disaster risk reduction, there is the need to increase awareness, build national capacity and also develop solutions that are customised and appropriate to the needs of the developing world.”