Nigeria needs a space law centre, says space scientist

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Abuja – Dr Gbenga Oduntan, a space scientist from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom on Wednesday in Abuja advised Nigeria to establish a special space law centre.

Oduntan gave the advice in a lecture delivered in Ile-Ife at the World Space Week 2012 programme organised by African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education.

The lecture was titled “Progressive Technological, Policy and Legal Regimes for the Utilisation of Space Solutions for Effective Peace, Human Safety and National Security in Nigeria”.

He said that space technology was not only for scientists, but also for the lawyers, artists, thinkers and writers.

“A centre for space law will be the centre that study the issue of law and polices in relation to outer space technology.

“You cannot separate the scientific plans from the legal plans, because there are thing that you do in national life that will have implication in international law.

“It can be based in a university or even as a department in the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), but we certainly need that. No space active country exists without such,’’ he said.

He added that space science provides a unique opportunity for developing countries to enhance their growth and development.

Oduntan urged African countries to invest more in space technology, saying that it would help the continent to fast track its development.

Earlier, Dr Seidu Mohammed of NASRDA, said that the agency was developing a legal frame work for the licencing of space activities in Nigeria.

“The major component of legal framework is the establishment of space register where all space subjects would be recorded.

“This has just been concluded and very soon some of these data will be passed on to the committee on peaceful use of outer space,’’ Mohammed said.(NAN)

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