National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has said Nigeria might earn $20 million from the launch of a single satellite if it develops its Assembly, Integration, and Testing Lab (AITL).
Dr Halilu Shaba, the Director-General of NASRDA, told the NAN on Monday in Abuja that the agency was confident of completing the 25-year Space Policy Roadmap.
Shaba stated that part of the roadmap's content, which included launching satellites into orbit from Nigerian land, was critical to the development of Space Science and Technology.
He stated that achieving such a facility was a massive effort requiring massive resources that their annual budgeted allotment could barely handle.
He explained that NASRDA was lobbying local investors and foreign countries to investigate how partnerships could help fund the project because the government may not have the exclusive capacity.
"We are thinking out of the box because it can bring money and we are letting people know that this can bring money.
“The government can partner with the public on that because for you to launch any satellite, the initial deposit you give for the launch of the satellite minus the kilometres you cover is 20 million Dollars to launch one satellite.
“We are also at the equator and getting windows for launch are higher and then the distance to the orbit is shorter.
“If we can be a launching destination, it means that if we are launching 20 satellites from Nigeria every year, that gives you about 400 million Dollars," Shaba said.
According to him, let us begin by identifying the major challenges, and Nigeria will serve as a launch pad for other African countries and the rest of the world.
The NASRDA President also stated that they were in discussions with other countries due to their interest.
He went on to say that they were making offers to other countries that would like Nigeria to develop the AITL and provide them access over time.
“They can come, we develop this together, we share the profit, they can launch and as well have a launch pad. Whatever option we are looking at, it has to be to the benefit of Nigeria."
Shaba revealed that the agency was expanding on its Rocketry and Propulsion experience, despite the fact that profits were trickling in.
He stated that the agency was looking into involving every platform in order to educate Nigerians about Space Science and Technology.
He noted that avenues being investigated included broadening the breadth of their social media engagements aimed at youths and banks for the development of visibility tools.
“We are also looking at expanding broadband reach to rural areas which we got the approval from the Federal Executive Council in November 2022.
“We are already ahead with that, some of the equipment are here already and we are testing the broadband to see its speed," Shaba said.
According to him, while discussing the digital economy, satellite cannot be removed, and we want our students to identify with all of these sectors since we are open to anybody.