India and Nigeria on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.”
The MoU, which was signed at the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, Abuja, was witnessed via video link by Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri. V. Muraleedharan.
A statement by the Indian High Commission Abuja on Thursday evening also said that Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology attended the event in Abuja while Mr. R. Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was also present through video link from ISRO Headquarters in Bengaluru.
ISRO is the space agency of the Government of India and has its headquarters in the city of Bangaluru, formerly Bengalore.
Chairman of ISRO Dr. K. Sivan, had earlier signed the agreement from the Indian side. Dr. Francis Chizea Director General of National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA), Nigeria signed the MoU on behalf of Nigeria.
According to the statement from the Indian High Commission, “the MoU envisages India-Nigeria collaboration in space science, planetary exploration, ground stations, development of micro and mini satellites and joint Space R&D. It provides for capacity building assistance by ISRO, exchange of scientific know-how, exchanges between academic institutes and joint symposiums/conferences. Cooperation in remote sensing, communications and navigation will benefit Nigeria in the fields of forestry, environment, agriculture, mining, watershed development and connectivity.
“Over the last 12 years, 49 Nigerian nationals have attended various short-term ITEC courses in India in the fields of Remote Sensing, GIS and Geoinformatics, conducted by the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun; Geological Survey of India Training Institute, Hyderabad; and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Noida. The above MoU will further enhance India’s capacity building assistance to Nigeria.
“On the occasion, both sides also agreed to sign a subsidiary MOU between New Space India Limited (NSIL), under ISRO, and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria, on cooperation in use of Geospatial Technologies.
“India and Nigeria enjoy longstanding, multifaceted and friendly relations. India remains committed to building capacities and contributing towards the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”