The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated an integrated satellite called DELSAT-1 to enhance the operational capacity of the Nigerian armed forces against insecurity. This will assist in realising the nation’s sectoral strategies that respond to identified threats to Nigeria’s national interests, such as the National Defense Policy, National Counter Terrorism Strategy and the National Policy on Public Safety and Security. Additionally, the satellite project will facilitate job creation and the expansion of the nation’s digital economy.
In the contemporary world, the issue of security is integral to any form of development; thus, countries attach great importance to the survival of their state and citizens. In addition, the state is positioned to respond to security threats as security correlates with the physical protection of a state.
In 2000, the grand strategy of National Security defined national security as the aggregation of the security interests of all individuals, communities, ethnic groups, political entities and institutions in the territory of Nigeria. There is a constitutional provision that mandates the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to defend the country from external aggression to maintain territorial integrity and secure borders from violation on land, sea and air. Nigeria has specialised agencies for the country’s defence, including the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Agency, and State Services Security.
The following will be the functions of the DELSAT-1
- Monitoring and tracking of adversaries.
- Mapping and terrain analysis.
- Vulnerability assessment.
- Search and resources.
- Monitoring offshore infrastructure.
This will facilitate freedom from threats, anxiety and danger for Nigerians. Furthermore, the National Security Strategy of the Republic of Nigeria outlines the core interests of the country as follows;
- Security and welfare of its people;
- Sovereignty and defence of territorial integrity; and
- Peace, democracy, economic growth and social justice.
DELSAT-1 will be peripheral in solving the threats to national security by advancing the promotion of peace and security. Nigeria faces many threats to national security, and the following is the list of threats identified as the most potent.
- Transnational organised crime;
- Crude oil theft;
- Ethno-religious conflict;
- Pastoralists and farmers conflicts;
- Politics and federalism; and
- Proliferations of weapons of mass destruction.
In addition, DELSAT-1 will aid the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) in ensuring public safety through the established implementation strategy, Forestall, Secure, Identify, Prepare and Implement (FSIPI). It is a step in the right direction concerning honing space technology to improve multiple sectors of the economy.