Cabinet approves MoU between India-Nigeria on Space Cooperation

The Union Cabinet have approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Space Research and Development agency of Nigeria on October 21, 2020.

Key Facts

  • The MoU between India and Nigeria were signed in June 2020 at Bengaluru and in August 2020 at Abuja Nigeria.
  • The MoU were signed in order to enable cooperation between the countries in the areas including satellite communication, satellite based navigation, Remote Sensing of the earth, space systems and ground systems, practical applications of space Technology.
  • The agreements also included sharing the techniques and geospatial tools.
  • A joint working group were to set up by drawing members from the national space research and development agency of Nigeria and the ISRO under the signed agreement.
  • The funds for conducting the programmes would be provided by the signatories in accordance with the laws and regulations of their respective legislation.

Significance

The MoU would provide opportunities to explore new research activities. It would also help to explore various applications in the field of Remote sensing of the earth satellite, Communication satellites, Navigation satellite,  Space science and Exploration of outer space.

India Nigeria Relation

The bilateral relation between India and Nigeria have strengthen in recent years. Nigeria have rich resources of oil and India has recently replaced the United States as its largest crude oil Importer. In the line,  20- 25 % of India’s domestic oil demand is fulfilled by Nigeria.  Many Indian Oil Companies have been involved in oil drilling operations in Nigeria and they are planning to setup refineries in Nigeria. Nigeria has become the largest Oil exporter to India in Africa. India imports around 400 mm barrels of oil from Nigeria per day. Further, the bilateral trade between India and Nigeria stands at 10 billion USD per annum.  India provided a donation of 50 million USD of essential medicines to Nigeria in order to fight covid-19 in July 2020.  India and Nigeria, In September 2020, also agreed to deepen the cooperation tackle the issue of piracy, terrorism and insurgency.  They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in mutual legal assistance, extradition Treaty and transfer of war prisoners.