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Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State (right) with Astronaut, Mr. Victor Hespahai, when officials of the National Space Research Development Agency and Space Exploration and Research Agency, paid a working visit to the Governor at Government House Owerri... Thursday

Uzodimma: Space economy has a lot of economic benefits

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State (right) with Astronaut, Mr. Victor Hespahai, when officials of the National Space Research Development Agency and Space Exploration and Research Agency, paid a working visit to the Governor at Government House Owerri… Thursday

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that metamorphosis from analogue to digital economy has made it imperative that we pay attention to the digital age where Space travel is pregnant with so many economic benefits.

While suggesting that Nigerians should not joke with Space economy, Governor Uzodimma insists that as a person he believes in it and will stop at nothing to support any collaboration in the area of Space Research.

Speaking Thursday at Government House Owerri when he paid host to members of the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) and Space Exploration and Research Agency (SERA), Governor Uzodimma told his guests to count on the State’s support and partnership in the establishment of Space Research Centre for its economic benefits in Imo.

He maintained that “the issue of Space Research is a serious business and should not be toyed with,” noting that “it is estimated that soon there will be tourism in Space and Nations will want to share in the economy thereof.”

Governor Uzodimma noted that innovation and research have gone beyond discovery on earth “as the planet, rather the world, has gone into research on how to help manage the Space as a market for both the military and civilian alike.”

He said that the gains of Space Research and travels are for both private and public sectors and that “every conscious State or Nation will like to participate and be part of the gains.”

The Governor insisted that he strongly believes that the National Space Research Development Agency has the mandate of the federal government to give opportunity for at least two Nigerians to visit the Space every year and would wish that an Imo citizen fits the mould.

He expressed gratitude for the choice of Imo State for the Space Research pilot project and reminded his guests that Imo State will be glad to have her own Astronaut.

Governor Uzodimma said that while the older generation may not be interested in the unfolding dynamics in the new world of digital existence, “the younger ones, especially our students in mostly tertiary institutions, will be encouraged to develop interest and participate.”

He therefore directed the Commissioner for Education and that of Science and Technology, to ensure that the visitors are introduced to our schools “so that the students will, on their own, show interest in astrology.”

Explaining their mission to Imo State, Dr Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro, who is the Director of Physical and Life Sciences of NASDRA and representing the Agency’s Director General, Dr. Marthin Olumide Adepoju, said that they came to
express their interest in establishing and domesticating the National Space Research Development Agency in Imo State “because of the person of His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma,” whom he said they regard as “the best Governor in Nigeria.”

He added that it has become necessary to “build the Space Satellite in Nigeria for Nigeria as against what was done in the past when it was built in United States and called Nigerian Space.”

Dr. Gbenro who furthermore explained that the essence is to put Nigerians in the Space, added that “we looking at the bigger picture of Nigeria reaping in the Space economy which has a lot of potentials bigger than that of oil and gas.”

“Again the target is to make Nigeria to be the first Nation in Africa to send man to the Space,” he explained and congratulated the Governor for quickly accepting to align his government with the project, accepting to receive them and discussing the issues, including signing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, Commissioner for Education, Prof. Johncliff Nwadike, Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Engr. Ikenna Elezieanya, Commissioner for Information, Public Orientation and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba and other members of the State’s Expanded Executive Council joined the Governor in receiving the visitors.

Others who accompanied Dr. Gbenro on the trip were Sam Hutchinson (co founder of SERA), Joshua Skrula (co founder of SERA), Victor Hespahai (Astronaut) and Ure Utah, technical adviser to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Uche Nnaji.

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