Dr. Halilu Shaba: A Lesson in Leadership Capabilities

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As the Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), our nation is truly celebrating deservedly too the life of a man who has patriotically become a lesson in leadership capacity and its manifest capabilities.

We are also using this piece to congratulate our president for his leadership recruitment policies which in the first place noticed Dr Halilu Ahmad Shaba for this appointment in the first place.

Indeed, many Nigerians heard and unheard of are today shouting loudly ‘congratulations on your well deserved appointment’ from their small corners because they have come to recognise that you are a visionary and inspirational leader who over the years have been spreading your wisdom which has transformed and better our country for the common good of all.

Our country should be so proud of having Dr. Shaba today in the helm of affairs of one of its tasking and challenging agencies of government which less is given but much is expected, the NASRDA. Today, even though the challenges before our nation’s space programmes are daunting, he has not waivered in his commitment to better the mandate given to him to brace at the agency because it is for the over all good of this and future generations yet unborn.

This country is truly proud and indebted to Dr. Shaba for where we are today in our space programme classifications by the international space agencies because prior to his appointment NASRDA was not a beehive of activities because of its constraints which was majorly funding. Dr. Shaba’s appointments quickly changed the narratives of our space programme through his pragmatic departure from the past ways of doing things at the agency to his systematic approach which has made things work.

His complete integrity, which is his working mantra, can be equated to that of our president, Muhammadu Buhari and our nations stars are shinning ones again.

His leadership of NASRDA has helped our country traced the relationship between our national developmental needs and science and diplomacy. Though there have been many missed opportunities and bad decisions as regard space technology by subsequent governments in Nigeria in the past, his tenure is systematically correcting it and putting us in the right frame to move forward.

Dr Shaba’s main priority which is to enact the positivity of the space programmes in the life of a nation and to re-awaken the space efforts in the country and set the missing link right and move us ahead, the signs of its success are ominous for us to celebrate. Today you have helped make sure our indigenous-technology is being harvested for space developments in Nigeria rather than importing and deploying foreign technology hook, line and sinker.

His tenure has really highlighted on the mistake we made in the space programme prior to the advent of the Buhari administration to have swallowed the bait of micro-satellite for developing countries instead of developing such technology from scratch using adequate indigenous knowledge as we are doing today because of Dr. Shaba’s expertise.

The bitter lessons learnt from this experience by Dr Shaba is that Nigeria’s space efforts have not yet delivered as promised but we are relieved because his correcting efforts are already yielding results. He is changing the narratives.
His focus on downstream space technology and re-jigging the curriculum of tertiary institutions in the country to reflect this reality and your interest in seeing our country use space technology for peaceful purposes because Nigeria is a conflict transformation country.

His tenure has also helped us more in the country in the usage of space technology for weather forecast, satellite developments, imagery, agriculture and mapping etc.

He has most importantly sets up a think-tank to constantly advise the government at every turn on the right approach to pursue as regards technology because of the experience of other country.

Dr. Shaba has also helped us employ indigenous knowledge vis-a-vis space technology. We thank you.

Your appointment as director general of NASRDA is a well deserved appointment. We commend our president on the success of his leadership recruitment drive which culminated in fishing out this shinning star of our nation’s premier agency and this was arguably the outcome of dedication to duty, pro-activeness, hardwork, result oriented leadership capacity and driving vitality to turn things around.

You are a quintessential and unassuming public officer, combined with a wealth of experience as an academic per excellence, a bureaucrat, a writer, farmer, politician but not partisan, and public spirited entity into the robust management of the nation’s quests to create space management for economic stability and take Nigeria out of its economic doldrums and woes.

Your wish and zeal to manage our space programmes and see it transformed into the main stay and mainstream of Nigeria’s economy has placed on high pedestals of Nigeria history.

Your patriotic efforts to move Nigeria forward beyond the primary role of a space consumer into the rank of independent explorationist country is known by the deliberate building of our capacity all around the country through trainings and workshops etc are legendary. This know-how of yours has brokered synergy, partnerships, and building blocks of relationship for our country in the space explorationist world to alleviate some of the nations maladies. You are really a man that is indescribable and posterity shall not forget you.

– Musa Wada writes from Abuja.

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