Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this at a ministerial briefing in Abuja.
He, however, explained that the development and construction of the High Resolution Earth observation Satellite known as NigeriaSat-2 has reached an advanced stage. He added that the components are at present being transported to the launching site in Yansy, Russia.
According to him, “the know-how technology training undertaken by Nigeria scientists and engineers included the building of a flight standard training model called the Nigeriasat-x, which would be launched along with the NigeriaSat-2 as a demonstration of Nigeria’s capability of building future satellites here in Nigeria.”
Abubakar noted while speaking on the challenges facing that nation that energy remains the most strategic and, in fact, greatest challenge to the nation development, pointing out that the only solution to energy crisis is to diversify and fully exploit a wide range of renewable sources of energy which are being developed by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The minister lamented that most of the research outcomes which otherwise could have catapulted Nigeria to the club of technologically developed nations are, unfortunately, not being translated into essential goods and services.
“It has been observed with dismay that there are a lot of Research and Development (R&D) results lying idle on the laboratory shelves and workshops awaiting commercialisation. One of the factors responsible for this unhealthy situation is lack of adequate funding for aggressive promotion and popularisation of R&D result in order to sensitise and stimulate the interest of the public, especially entrepreneurs,” Abubakar noted.
He insisted that the inability to develop these research outcomes is largely responsible for Nigeria being currently a very high foreign technology consuming nation.
The minister, however, called for the establishment of National Science and Technology Fund (NSTF) to fund the commercialisation of research outcomes and to assist entrepreneurs who are desirous of adopting such outcomes with seed money and other technical assistance to enable them set up cottage, small and medium scale enterprises.