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Nigeria set to launch first astronaut into space

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji has revealed that preparations have reached advance stage to launch Nigeria into space.

Nnaji made this known on the occasion of the MOU signing between the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Space Exploration and Research Agency (SERA), Delaware, USA, on human space flight.

This was contained in a statement made available to journalists by his media office on Thursday.

He said: “Human space flight has been a key objective for our nation. The National Space Policy and Program (NSPP), approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2001, identifies human space flight as one of its three pillars.

“According to the 25-year roadmap approved in 2005 for the implementation of the NSPP, our first human space flight was scheduled for 2018. This means we are about six years behind schedule.

“In an effort to correct past delays and align with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we have revitalized the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology and all its parastatals since I assumed office.

“The signing of this MOU is a testament to our rigorous efforts over the past months. As part of this groundbreaking mission, SERA has reserved six seats for an upcoming New Shepard launch.

“This initiative will see six individuals (from six countries, including Nigeria), potentially becoming the first astronauts from their respective countries.”

The Minister added that “Nigeria’s selection for this historic opportunity aligns with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, and highlights the country’s growing significance in the global space community.

“The inclusion of a Nigerian astronaut will mark a proud moment for the nation, showcasing its advancements and ambitions in space exploration.”

Earlier in his address, the Director General of NASRDA, Dr Matthew Adepoju, said: “We pride ourselves as the Premier Space Agency in Africa at NASRDA.

“This is not just a mere statement, but a position of truth.

“When the Space Agency was established on the 8th of May, 1999, not many nations in Africa could dream of having a Space Program.

“We are also today the only Space Agency in Africa whose activities cover the whole chain of the Space ecosystem. We have a strong footprint in Outer Space exploration and exploitation, and also leading in remote sensing.

“Our activities in launch vehicle development can also not be matched by any country in Africa. We are indeed a Premier Space Agency.

“The Agency has successfully launched six satellite missions since inception. All of these missions were done with our collaborators outside the country, but the contribution of our Engineers cannot be overemphasized.

“Our major pride in our missions is the Nigeriasat-x, which was wholly built by our Engineers.

“Today’s event marks the commencement of our effort to achieve our dream of Human Space Flight. The Human Space Flight program is one of the cardinal objectives of the National Space Policy and Program.

“It was with this in mind that we established the Department of Physical and Life Sciences about three years ago. It gladdens my heart that I was very instrumental to the establishment of this department, and by providence, I am today the Director General to see to it that this dream is becoming a reality.”

In their speech, SERA co-founders, Joshua Skurla and Sam Hutchison said: “This is a milestone moment in the development of our university.

“And we have built a human spaceflight program in partnership with Newport to promote access to space, and we are building this by way of a program in other countries that had previously no access to space.

“We are here at the dialogue between the Learn Space Foundation and carried on with the personnel from NASA to announce that we intend to send the first human spaceflight program on the Blue Origin spacecraft.

“This human spaceflight opportunity with NASA and with Nigeria is part of a broader mission that will be taking place in the not-too-distant future that will see six astronauts. SERA is a private organization. This is an example of a public-private partnership that I think is exactly the right platform.

“Our hope for this mission is that we can raise awareness among young people, in Nigeria in particular, to understand that if they get into science, engineering, and mathematics, their future may be in space.

“There are hundreds of billions of dollars being invested in the commercial development of in-space activity, and Nigerians should be a part of it. So our hope for this mission is that we can promote broader public support for space activity in Nigeria.

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Abiodun Boosts Security: Donates Drones, 25 Patrol Vehicles to Combat Banditry, Terrorism

L:R: Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Toyin Taiwo; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, Durosinmi Olatoye; Secretary to the Ogun State Government (SSG), Mr. Tokunbo Talabi; Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr. (Mrs) Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun and the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, during the demonstration of drones purchased by the Ogun State Government to tackle insecurity at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Thursday.

Ogun State Government on Thursday, donated 25 patrol vehicles to the state police command just as it acquired surveillance drones to monitor criminal activities in all parts of the state.
Governor Dapo Abiodun donated the vehicles in the presence of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, at the Arcade Ground, Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, even as he called on the force to include technology in it’s crime fighting efforts.
He said acquiring the drones was one of the proactive steps his administration has taken in collaboration with Lagos and Oyo states to effectively monitor activities on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to ensure prompt response in emergency situations.
The drones, the governor noted, would be operated by trained personnel from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of Stata Service (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC).
Governor Abiodun who had earlier received the Inspector General in his office said: “As a gesture of appreciation of you and all what your are doing to law enforcement and effective policing in our state and by extension Nigeria, we have decided to complement you and your efforts by donating today, 25 patrol vans to the police and our law enforcement architecture. This, we believe, will commemorate your first official visit to Ogun State.
“Towards ensuring peace in our state, we will continue to strengthen and support our already established Security Trust Fund (STF) by procuring relevant gadgets, including drones. We will continue to argument the allowances and living condition of our security personnel to motivate them to enhance security and safety in our state.”
The governor, who was impressed with the efforts of the police boss at repositioning the force for optimal performance in line with the tenet of the President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, however called for the integration of modern technology in tackling the various security challenges facing the nation.
“As we acknowledged your alignment with the tenet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, we urged the integration of cutting edge surveillance technology to combat the challenges of banditry and terrorism in the nation,” the governor advised.
He said Ogun State remains steadfast in fulfilling its constitutional role by prioritizing the welfare and security of the people through fostering effective inter-agencies cooperation among security agencies in the state.
Prince Abiodun said his administration in the past four and a half years, has procured more than 100 patrol vehicles and motorcycles, as well as over 300 communication gadgets for security agencies in a bid to keep the peace, assuring that his administration would spare nothing at ensuring that residents live in a stable environment and engage in business activities without fear of molestation.
The governor described the Inspector General of Police as a dutiful officer and a fine gentleman who through his educational background and professional dedication was poised at ensuring that Nigerians have a police force they could be proud of.
“You have been deliberate and intentional in the systematic redesigning of the operational strategies and administrative policies of the police force which is driven by purposeful leadership and capacity enhancement.
“The impactful motivation you continually instill in your personnel through timely promotion and incentives, have boosted their performance and dedication. As an expert in peace and conflict studies, you have exemplified the essence of positive police/civil relations, elevating the trust of Nigerians in the police by addressing misconducts with decisive action.
“Your commitment to community policing has strengthened the bond between the law enforcement and the community members significantly improving the intelligence capacity of the officers. Realizing that modern policing necessitate cooperation with all and is underpinned by technological advancement, you put your efforts and encouraged continued innovations in these areas,” the governor added.
Prince Abiodun lauded the police authority for its infrastructural development efforts in that state command, particularly the new police headquarters building, the Technical Intelligence Unit, the Complaints Response Unit, and the Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun Multi-purpose Cooperative Hall.
Also speaking, Egbetokun said his vision was to put in place a professionally competent police force that is service oriented, rule of law compliant, people friendly and positioned to respond appropriately and adequately to the dynamics of crimes in the society.
He acknowledged the massive infrastructural development across the state, disclosing that more police stations and more Area Commands would be created as well as the deployment of more mobile policemen squadrons to provide adequate security in the state.
The IGP praised Governor Abiodun’s innovative idea in the purchase of the drones, noting that the gesture would further enhance the security of the state, even as he called on other states to take the same step to ensure the security of their people.

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Osun State Governor Applauds YEMKEM for Transformative Impact in Traditional Medicine

L-R: Stephen Ajisomo Ayeni, Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Erelu Abiodun Anthonia Ayeni and the celebrant, Prince Akintunde Ayeni

In a heartening show of support for indigenous innovation and traditional medicine, the Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke,commended Dr. Akintunde Ishola Ayeni, widely known as YEMKEM, for his remarkable contributions to the well-being of Nigerians. The Governor expressed his appreciation during the 60th birthday celebration of Prince Ayeni in Gowon Estate, Ipaja, Lagos State.

Governor Adeleke hailed YEMKEM’s profound impact on the lives of countless Nigerians through his pioneering work in traditional medicine. He lauded YEMKEM for his numerous life-saving discoveries, which have enabled him to provide relief to millions of Nigerians suffering from various health conditions.

The Governor went a step further by endorsing YEMKEM products, attesting to their potency and efficacy. He affirmed, “I am using their products and can testify to their potency and efficacy.”

Furthermore, Senator Adeleke extended an invitation to YEMKEM International to establish a branch of their company in Osun State, assuring full support from the state government. He stressed the importance of collective support within the traditional medicine industry, emphasizing the need to foster unity and collaboration for the industry’s continued growth.

Governor Adeleke hailed YEMKEM as a reliable friend, highlighting the trustworthiness and integrity that define their relationship. He offered his prayers for YEMKEM’s long life and continued prosperity.

In response, Dr. Akintunde Ayeni expressed his admiration for Senator Ademola Adeleke, describing him as a hero who remains loyal to old acquaintances, reflecting the enduring bond between them.

This heartwarming celebration and show of support serve as a testament to the transformative impact of indigenous knowledge and innovation, highlighting the potential for traditional medicine to contribute positively to the health and well-being of Nigerians.

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Adewale Egbedun Emerges Speaker, Osun House Of Assembly

Adewale Egbedun, representing Odo-Otin State Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly has emerged the Speaker of the Assembly.

Egbedun is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 8th session of the Osun State House of Assembly.

He was elected on Tuesday after being nominated by Ibrahim Abiola of Irewole/Isokan constituency and seconded by Areoye Samuel, another member.

The inaugural sitting of the 8th Assembly was presided by the Clerk of the House, Simeon Amusan.

Member-elect from Ife North Constituency, Akinyode Oyewusi was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the House.

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