Dr. Ahmed Halilu Shaba: Changing the Narrative at the National Space Research and Development Agency

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The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) is an agency that is now enjoying a new lease of life and good public perception, thanks to the reforms orchestrated, formulated and implemented by the present Director-General of the agency, Dr. Ahmed Halilu Shaba.

Perception they say is everything. The NASRDA, all will agree, is one of the most ambitious agency that carries on its shoulders the responsibilities of launching the country towards the new age of civilisation through the space exploration programmes.

The agency is truly now enjoying the success story in space technology as the agency is being celebrated as a model for other developing countries due to the reforms introduced by Dr. Shaba that is changing many of the narratives about the agency and the country’s space programmes through reforms.

Prior to this management reforms, the agency was seen as one of agencies that has not gotten its priorities right due to its many challenges. These challenges ranged from the issue of job racketeering and corruption. The Dr. Shaba-led management of NASRDA in its quest to change this narratives embark on the difficult but achievable tasks by first make the institutional internal institutional changes that confronted head-on this hydra headed monster giving the agency a bad image through reforms.

The reforms introduced gave the agency the opportunity of clearing the Augean stables that has for so long domiciled in the agency using job racketeering as a norm instead of an exception at the agency.

NASRDA is now agency that has a good public perception and that has made the agency one others in the country emulate when peer reviewed to achieve sustainable development for our country.

These institutional reforms introduced at NASRDA by its leadership led by its director general, Dr Shaba has arguably within a short term made the agency the success story it is today. The path charted and the successes recorded by the agency has been a source of pride and encouragement to both the staffs and other governmental agencies in the country and indeed other brotherly countries in the developing world exercising peaceful use of space technology for socio-economic benefits to emulate.

Despite initial negative perceptions due to negative tendencies going on in the agency and the public perception that space science is the reserve for developed countries, the successes of the present management of NASRDA led by Dr. Shaba has today become a source of inspiration and commendation by the citizens who now applauds the activities of the agency has launching positively the country towards a new age of civilization through space exploration.

These milestones were achieved by the management of the agency against all odds as many see the changing of NASRDA image and perception as akin to squeezing water from stone.

The milestone achieved in view of the agency’s numerous challenges are clear indication that the nation is on course to achieve the goals and objectives of its space programme for the progress of country and the actualisation of its noble goals.

Dr.Shaba has changed many of the narratives at NASRDA because he has patroitically become a lesson in leadership reforms and goals actualisations.

His appointment by the president to change the narratives at the agency is a vivid response to the quest by all that our leadership recruitment processes must be gotten right for us to achieve sustainable development.

The desire of our president, Muhammadu Buhari, is to have our country as the indisputable leader in the space exploration programme in Africa has been achieved by NASRDA through the can-do leadership of Dr. Shaba.

Dr. Shaba, a professional, is renowned today in the space world as a man who have what it takes to move the agency forward and be the pride of the nation.

Prior to his reforms, our country seems to be relinquishing or has relinquished its leadership in certain field of the space programmes because of the lack of vision of the leadership of our space programmes and this seems to have been nipped in the bud with the reforms of Dr. Shaba.

Dr. Shaba has totally changed the narratives at NASRDA and he earns this accolades through the perfect implentations of a set of reforms objectives that has now completely changed our peoples perception about the activities of NASRDA.

For example, the job racketeering conundrum which has made the securing of jobs at the agency a highest bidder affair has been nipped. Now getting a job at the agency is through merit as the getting of a job is through due process.

His constant implementation of this sets of reforms and the reassessment of the reform goals and objectives within the framework of the national space programmes and objectives is worth applauding. The total elimination of the job racketeering syndicates at the agency, a cankerworm militating against the engagements of the best material that can measure up to the requirements of the work at hand is also commendable. Today, the personnel and staffs of the agency understands what it takes to maintain the vision and Nigeria’s leadership position as mandated by president Muhammadu Buhari.

This understanding has a positive and direct bearings in the selection of our national objectives of the space programmes. This reforms programmes at the agency are pragmatically and systematically implemented with the understanding that Nigeria must be pre-eminent in all areas and discipline of its national space programmes and siorities.

This positive changes in NASRDA narrative is because the driver of this reforms priorities understands the thinking that the broad spectrum of space activities and the increasing number of space fairing nations in Africa has made it virtually impossible for us to relent because it is also virtually impossible for one nation to dominate in all fields of the space programmes.

But to Dr. Shaba, it is possible with Nigeria because the priorities behind his reforms is the believe that to be an effective and sustained leader in Africa’s space field demands hard work. This country have the capabilities to act independently and impressively when and where it chooses. Its goals is to make Nigeria’s NASDRDA capable of inspiring its citizens and other countries to move swiftly and promptly to determine its priorities and make conscious choices to pursue its sets objectives.

This has effectively and sustainably restored our leadership status in Africa, thanks to Dr. Shaba.

– Musa Wada writes from Abuja.

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