Nigeria to send astronauts to space by 2015


ABUJA – Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey,  Thursday, said that Nigeria would by 2015 put its first set of astronauts to space.
He said the move was part of government efforts to boost the economy through space technology.
He also said technology transfer agreements between Nigerian entrepreneurs and their technical partners abroad had saved Nigeria over N16 billion between May 2011 and March 2012.
The Minister, who spoke at  the 2012 ministerial platform, one year score card, organized by Ministry of Information in Abuja, said training of the first set of astronauts to be sent to space would soon commence.
On savings from technology transfer agreements, the minister said:  “The highest amount of money that was saved was in September 2011 with over N5.3 billion followed by N3.8 billion and the lowest amount was N89.8 million in August 2011.
“Nigeria shall vigorously pursue the attainment of space capabilities as an essential tool for the socio-economic development and enhancement of the quality of life of its people.
“20 technologies are transferred on weekly basis through training for establishments of small medium enterprises.
These included, instant pounded yam flour, fruit juice production, cassava products (chips, adhesives, starch, flour), instant fufu flour, baking and confectioneries.”