The Director General National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr Halilu Ahmad Shaba has called for increase in funding for science and engineering research so as to effectively utilize the benefits of science and technology.
He made the call at NASRDA headquarters in Abuja while signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Space Agency and Kogi State Polytechnic on the establishment of Department of Aerospace Engineering in the Institution.
Dr Shaba while commending the rector of the institution for his resilience in seeing to the signing of the MOU despite various challenges said the Space Agency is committed towards the success of the partnership.
The NASRDA boss who applauded the passion displayed by the Rector expressed delight for his concern over the equipment purchased for the purpose of the department going obsolete, and promised that he will ensure the passion is equalled throughout the tenure of the collaboration.
He explained that the Space Agency has an effective continuity programme that allows researchers and scientists who retire to remain within the space environment and continue in researches so that the space community can tap from their wealth of experience.
The NASRDA Boss therefore called on the Director of the Centre for Satellite Technology Development Dr Sadiq Umar to constitute a committee for the partnership and ensure the effectiveness and success of the collaboration.
Dr Shaba also lauded the creation of the department of Agriculture technology by the institution saying the Agency will work with the Polytechnic in the area of agriculture as NASRDA has already developed smart agriculture, greenhouse as well as other areas which the committee can look into for the overall benefits of Nigerians.
Dr Shaba called on the NASRDA team and their Kogi counterpart to ensure that this partnership culminates into joint conference and workshop to hold in the coming year.
Speaking earlier, the Rector of the of the Kogi State Polytechnic Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman appreciated the NASRDA Boss for the warm reception saying his humility gives him the assurance that they will be given maximum cooperation and eagerness to partner with the institution for socio-economic benefit of the nation.
He said on his appointment as rector, he decided to revisit the collaboration with NASRDA which began since 2014 but was never completed due to some challenges.
Dr Ogbo pointed out that the collaboration process which started with the former Director General, Prof Seidu Onailo Mohammed is being completed under the current leadership, saying the unique occasion is not only historic but will leave an indelible mark in the hearts everyone involved.
The Rector stressed that mechatronics programme in airspace engineering is a key area in engineering that can adequately contribute robustly to an engineering department.
He said the institution is seeking to partner with National Board on Technical Education to promote vocation technical education in the institution.
Dr Ogbo therefore assured that the institution will be committed to the partnership and hopes that the relationship will wax stronger.
The Department of Aerospace and Engineering if established will be the first in Nigeria.
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