From Oladele Oge, Nsukka
For our country to achieve its dream in technological development, one of the steps it must take is to give adequate attention to space technology research and innovation. If this is done, there will be rapid improvement on earth and will help to make space research more interesting and accessible to everyone including primary and secondary schools students in Nigeria.
This is the view held by the new Acting Director, NASRDA- Centre for Basic Space Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Dr Bonaventure Okere. He made this known during the official welcoming prayers and ground-breaking ceremony marking the formal oath of allegiance as the substantive acting director to the office, by the staff and management of the university. They were led by ministers of God.
In his opening remarks, he noted that through hardworking, love and peace Nigeria at large could achieve a functional society, stressing that his administration is committed to maximising the research activities of the centre in a meaningful way that could make it a fundamental contributor to the economic development of the country.
He asserted that space technology research and its advancement has for years been given primacy by NASRDA to ensure that Nigeria realised its dreams for the youth in the areas of research excellence and job creations.
Okere is a reputable Nigerian astronomer and one of the team that worked tirelessly for the expansion of West African Regional offices around the world by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which Nigerian undergraduates, graduate students and research fellows across the country’s tertiary institutions are enjoying today.
He bagged his doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2103. He succeeded late Prof. Fidelix Ekeoma Opara, former Director of the Centre who died on 9th April 2017 after brief illness,
In his speech at the event, Rev. Father Titus Odoh, thanked the NASRDA management staff and the University for finding time to pray for the progress of the research centre and promised to continue to support the centre in prayers in a bid to actualise its vision of creating a world-class centre that could compete with any other space technology in the world.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Imam Nsukka Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdulahi Yakubu Omeh, implored the staff to sacrifice their time in prayers for the success of the new director. He urged them to put God first as doing so would promote peace and unity at the centre.
In a related development, the centre in collaboration with the University of Nigeria, International Astronomical Union (IAO) and Office of Astronomy for Development, West Africa Regional Development (WAROAD) has organised a one week workshop/training for the South-Eastern primary and secondary school teachers in order to help them improve on the existing knowledge on astronomy and space technology to the benefits of their students.
Tagged: “Hands on Basic Space Science Training for Primary and Secondary Schools Teachers (HBSST) 2017, the training began last Thursday across Nsukka zone with about 40 teachers were trained by the grant-holder.