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Drones may follow D.S.A. bill’s passage

By J.K. Obatala   |   09 October 2016   |   2:05 am

Senator Roberts Ajayi Boroffice

Senator Roberts Ajayi Boroffice

Nigeria moved a step closer to equipping its military with space technology, Thursday, when a bill to establish the Defence Space Administration (D.S.A.) passed its third and final reading in the Senate.
Senator Robert Ajaiyi Boroffice, the sponsor of the bill, said its purpose was to enable the Armed Forces to effectively meet modern warfare and national security challenges.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology explained D.S.A. as “an institutional framework, in which the military can take advantage of space science technology in carrying out its missions.”
Speaking to journalists in his office, Boroffice said D.S.A. already exists and has been operating at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), for nearly one year.
“But this is only a temporary arrangement, by the next budget, they will be asking for funds to establish their own accommodation,” he noted.He projected that D.S.A.’s permanent facilities would also be located within NASRDA’s Abuja headquarters, so that the two bodies can continue to interact easily, adding that cooperation between NASRDA and D.S.A. is essential, as according to him, space technology has both civilian and military applications.
“There are certain things, which the Space Defense Command will be doing that are not in the public domain,” the senator outlined.Boroffice observed that Defense Space Commands are typically part of the intelligence community—often used to track insurgents and for espionage, stressing that Nigeria’s military space agency needs its own institutional framework for its operations, “to do what it needs to do in secrecy”.
The Senator explained that drones have become a normal part of modern warfare, widely deployed for effective targeting, as well as, to lower casualties and reduce the number of soldiers.
“At the same time though, the use of drones for environmental monitoring, fighting fires, search and rescue operations, aerial photography and other civilian task is escalating,” he added, saying the expected D.S.A plans to collaborate with NASRDA to see how they can develop drones together.”


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