Nigeria will increase its capabilities in handling a variety of tasks such as security, agriculture and disaster monitoring, following the successful launch of two satellites into space on Wednesday.
NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X launched from a base in Yasny, Russia. They were built at the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford, UK, under contract with the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
A team of 26 Nigerian engineers participated in designing and building the accompanying ship NigeriaSat-X, a press release stated.
With these news satellites, Nigeria has the ability to now perform monthly crop monitoring, help with increasing urban planning demands through the development of engineering skill, and advance the growth of new technologies in the country, the release also noted.
President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated his countrymen and has called the effort transformational.
Data from the satellites will help enhance food security in Nigeria through mapping of farmlands, providing advice to farmers on drought, when and how to plant their crops, soil quality and (to) monitor their crops to ensure they have high yields, Frank Chizea, project manager for the launched satellites, told AFP.
He added that the satellites' data will assist in monitoring internal and across-the-border security of the country.
We can use data collected from the satellites to monitor the activities and movements of criminals, smugglers, militants, oil bunkerers (thieves), movement of goods, arms and equipment within and across our borders, he said.