Towards effective legislation for Nigeria’s space programme

 
Today, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) is one of the best federal agencies in Nigeria that is known to be delivering on its mandate. Therefore, the need for an effective operational legislation for the smooth implementation of the ever ready and effective NASRDA cannot be overemphasised. 
The visit to the agency's headquarters by the erudite Dr. Olisa Agbokoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who paid a courtesy call on the director-general of the agency, Dr. Halilu Ahmad Shaba, underscores the agency's relevance and importance to Nigeria's development in the 21st century. The visit also serves as a platform for the SAN and the management of the agency to brainstorm on space legislation as a catalyst for the growth of space exploration as it impacts the development of Nigeria.
The visit emphasises the vital role space is playing to mankind as the future of mankind is dependent on space because space is the future. We need laws in the space sector in Nigeria that will not only strengthen NASRDA as the sole implementation agency for all space related developments but those laws are expected to give legal backing to the actualisation of the constitutional mandates of the agency as well as spur it to operate in line with the current trend in the global space industry.
There is the need for a total rejig of NASRDA's space policy, which is expected to include the licencing of space objects as more people are becoming aware and showing interests on space with some emerging and strategic developments in this critical sector.
It is now time for NASRDA as an agency to be really strengthened and its supremacy reaffirmed when it comes to mandates on space and that can only be done through legislative action.This is important as Dr. Agbakoba stated because the clear roles of the agency and its mandate stated clearly by laws for the avoidance of conflict between the agency and other players in the emerging space industry in the country. 
NASRDA is the agency in Nigeria saddled with the sole responsibility to build and launch satelites and it is imperative for the agency to have clearly stated legal support to actualise the Nigerian space agenda for the overall benefit of the people. The space agency is regarded as a potential source of revenue generation for nations and for Nigeria not to be left out especially in the area of space technology and tourism which are veritable platforms that have the potential of making many sets of billionaires in our country.
NASRDA must be appreciated and commended for synergising with both the private and public organisations as well as relevant stakeholders in mapping out strategies and ensuring proper implementation of the nation's space programmes and this highlights and sums up the visit of the legal luminary, Dr. Agbakoba.
For a successful implementation of the expected commercialisation of the space programmes, our space laws need to be rejigged and reviewed for improved revenue generation as highlighted by the NASRDA director-general during the visit. Dr. Shaba emphasised, as always, the strategic role the agency plays in the socio-economic development of Nigeria. NASRDA's mandate was designed to build and launch satelites as well as regulate all aspects of space related activities in Nigeria.
The agency is expected to build bridges in the spirit of result-oriented collaborations with the relevant stakeholders with the shared incisive vision and playing significant or complementary roles in the realisation of its goals and objectives. The agency is expected to extend its hands of fellowship, especially, in its implementation of its key objectives through collaboration with a view to achieving its critical mandates for the progress of Nigeria.
It is a thing of joy that professionals in various fields of learning like Dr. Agbakoba are now ready to collaborate with NASRDA in taking the country's socio-economic development to greater heights through the space industry because the future lies in space exploration and Nigeria will not be left out.
Wada writes from Abuja