Dr. Halilu Ahmad Shaba: A Revolutionary One Year in Office as NASRDA’s Director General

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The Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Ahmad Halilu Shaba will be one year in office on the 14 of April, and this piece is about showcasing his impacts and achievements as the helmsman of the agency.

The President, Muhammadu Buhari, nominated Dr. Shaba as the substantive Director-General of NASRDA on February 25, 2021. The nomination letter which was read in plenary by the nation’s President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan for confirmation by the senate and was unanimously endorsed and applauded by all senators and his appointment was confirmed on the 14th of April 2021.

Dr. Shaba, a seasoned scholar and technocrat, has over 21 years post-doctoral research work in the field of remote sensing and has extensive knowledge in space technology management and safety. The man who joined the nation’s public service in 1989 and commenced his career at the National Population Commission in 1989-2001 before joining the Federal University of Technology in Minna in 2001-2006, where he became a lecturer and later rose to deputy dean of student affairs.

Dr. Shaba came on board at a time a lot was expected from the agency in driving the development of the country as many Nigerians are aware that Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But many are not aware that the country cannot achieve the sustainable development goals without an efficient and effective space agency.

The National Space Research and Development Agency was therefore central to the success or otherwise of the country’s sustainable developments goals and the agency is today acknowledged as doing quite a lot in this regard under its new management led by Dr. Shaba whose pedigree and capacity to deliver is already manifesting and has never been in doubt over the past one year since his appointment.

A few examples could suffice on what the new management led by Dr. Halilu Ahmad Shaba has achieved and doing to ensure the sustainable development of Nigeria is achieved.

For emphasis sake, sustainable development which is defined in developmental circle as developments that satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to satisfy theirs was the mandate given to the Dr. Shaba led management to implement as the change mantra of the Buhari administration and this is what the NASRDA management is systematically and pragmatically achieving through a well thought out programmes of reforms and implementary targets.

In order to be sustainable, Dr. Shaba knows development must combine three main elements: fairness, protection of the environments and economic efficiency. The Director-General used his basic knowledge of space technology innovation for sustainable developments which involves three key approaches. These are addressing basic needs through innovations and capacity building, including poverty reductions initiatives, agriculture, urban planning, resource managements and disaster, risk reduction, promoting innovations approaches which lead to sustainable economic growth and job creation and promoting global and regional co-operation for better management of global challenges together by finding global pictures and information.

The use of space science and technology for the attainments of sustainable developments and the need to strengthen the outer space legal framework which is of utmost concern and importance especially in a developing country like Nigeria was another basic area the NASRDA management has addressed in the last one year.

The outer space which is defined as mankind’s common heritage that developing countries like Nigeria must be allowed to participate in order not to be left out in the new trend of achieving the sustainable development goals is another area Dr. Shaba has achieved and excelled for Nigeria.

The rational and peaceful uses of outer space to provide the country the powerful tools for furthering the well-being of our citizens and its environment is today been achieved for Nigeria through the Dr. Shaba led management of NASRDA.

Space technology and applications are fundamental tools for actualizing sustainable developments throughout the world especially in the developing countries like Nigeria and the fear of our citizens that our country would be left out has been allayed, thanks to Dr. Shaba and his management staffs.

NASRDA’s efforts in the actualization of SDG 4 is also commendable in the last one year and this is done through nationwide research and learnings and its impact has been felt through out the federation through:

。The building of the capacity of universities and polytechnics to use Nigeria SAT-2 and SAT-X satellite’s images.
。Donation of images by NASRDA for researches to several institutions of higher learnings like universities, polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of educations etc.
。Provisions of tele-educational services etc.

Going forward with the impact of the Dr. Shaba led management at NASRDA. Nigeria is expected to be the greatest achieving country in the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Africa. The magic wand for our development has just began to be implemented thanks to Dr. Shaba.

– Musa Wada writes from Abuja.

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