Sen Boroffice Slams Space Agency For Employing Misfits

  • Raises alarm over N2.5m for jobs racket

BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – Corruption-ridden employment processes will not allow Nigeria to make the desired headway in Science and Technology, Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, has warned.

Boroffice raised the alarm following allegations that religious studies and other unrelated courses graduates are being employed by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) instead of scientists and engineers.

He is also alarmed by allegations that prospective candidates for employment pay between N2 million and N2.5 million, describing the development as sad and a great disservice to the nation.

“How can you be engaging people with religious studies in a space centre? It is misemployment when the support staff that constitute about 80 per cent are the workforce. It is wrong.

“We need experience. We need scientists to constitute about 70% per cent of the workforce but the reverse is the case”, the lawmaker lamented

Boroffice, who is also the Chairman Senate Committee on Science and Technology, has therefore thrown his weight behind current moves by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to scrutinise the Agency’s employment documents

According to the Ondo South Senator, it is in the overall interest of Nigeria’s technological development that NASRDAand other such agencies are urgently sanitized to rid them of misfits and those with nothing to offer the nation in the science and technology sector.

The Deputy Majority leader said for efficiency and effective service delivery, the Agency needs scientists to constitute about 70 per cent of its workforce instead of present situation of things.

Senator Boroffice, who spoke at the annual National Space Dialogue/Media conference on Space Science and Technology, said; “We have to reexamine ourselves. We have to sanitise the space agency so that we can achieve the purpose of nation itself.”

Also speaking at the event, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, assured that government is determined to correct the mistakes made within the system.

“I want to assure you that this administration is very interested and this minister here is a big champion for space science and technology, and we will continue to do the best we can. We are trying to ensure that some additional satellites are put in orbit.

“I will like to assure the Deputy majority leader of the Senate that we agree with you about the mistakes that were made here.

“They are also mistakes that you can find in government institutions. But we are determined to correct those mistakes and we are taking the neccesary steps to make sure they are corrected”, Dr Onu assured

NASRDA is overseen by the National Council on Space Science Technology which is chaired by the President of Nigeria with the Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as its Secretary.

After the preparation period that lasted from 1998, the Agency was formally established on August 1, 2001 by President Olusegun Obasanjo with a primary objective of establishing a “fundamental policy for the development of space science and technology” with an initial budget of $93 million.

In May 2006, the new extended national space programme was adopted

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