Proforce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) for the first private sector-driven satellite in the country.
Proforce said the MoU was signed in Abuja on 3 August at the Obasanjo Space Centre. “This is in furtherance to the ongoing discussion and newly-formed partnership between both agencies towards exploring opportunities in space technology and developing the sector,” Proforce said.
NASRDA said the MoU on space technology is the first ever private sector initiative in the Nigerian Space Science and Technology sector. Nigeria has launched a number of satellites (on foreign rockets) but these have all been designed outside the country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Proforce CEO Ade Ogundeyin said if Nigeria possessed its own satellite, security incidents such as the one at Kuje prison some time back may have been avoided.
Proforce, while specialising in armoured vehicles, is also expanding into the aerospace sector. For example, earlier this year it signed an agreement with France’s Aeraccess for the production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency is one of the Research Institutions under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. The Agency was established in May 1999 with a broad objective to pursue the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefits of the nation.
The agency has had cooperation in space technology with the United Kingdom, China, Ukraine and Russia. In May 2006, the new extended national space program was adopted by Nigeria. NASRDA has launched four satellites of its own, the first one in 2003.