ABUJA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Monday said it is committed to the development of space technology, particularly as a way to advance the economy.
Space science and technology can provide a formidable alternative to oil, which is the only major source of income of the West African country, Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu said at the opening of the 16th Annual National Space Dialogue in Abuja.
Speaking on "Space Technology for Self-Reliance and Sustainable Development," theme of the national dialogue, the official said Nigeria would apply the use of space technology to enhance food security, effective growth of information and communication technology, as well as tele-medicine, among other areas of national development.
"We cannot continue to depend on other countries to meet our needs, we should take advantage of the opportunity created by this situation to become self-reliant," he said.
He said self-reliance in space technology can enable Nigeria to promote agriculture to ensure food security through land preparation and management, irrigation and pest control.
The application of space technology by Nigeria can further open up the local telecoms market to boost the economy, the minister said, with a view that the global telecoms market is worth an estimated 200 billion U.S. dollars annually.
"An estimated 2 billion U.S. dollars leave the country as capital flight due to foreign telecom operators in Nigeria who import foreign bandwidth and related services annually," he noted. Enditem