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Nigeria approves N3.5bn for space museum, theatre

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has approved the setting up of a space museum and planetarium in Abuja.

Minister of Science and Technology and Innovation, Mr Adeleke Mamora said this while briefing newsmen at the end of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

Planetarium is a theatre built for the presentation of education and entertainment on space science.

He said the space museum project would cost N3.5 billion, but at no cost to the Nigerian government.

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Mamora said that the project being handled under Public-Private Partnership would be sited at the premises of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in Abuja.

“Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation presented a memo to the council in respect of Public-Private Partnership brought by one of our of our agencies and that is NASRDA.

“The memo is essentially to secure partnership on the upgrade, equipping and marketing of the space museum and planetarium.

“And the buildings meant for this project has been in place since 2018; but because of non-availability of funds to put the necessary equipment in place, the project has been stalled,’’ he said.

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The minister said Wednesday’s decision rode on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Space Council meeting earlier in the year.

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He said the president directed at the meeting that the director-general of NASRDA should explore and exploit collaboration with the private sector.

He added that a proposal was received from a private company in Nigeria.

This to the processes in terms of outlining of a business case ensuring compliance with all the requirements needed to present the memo before the cabinet.

“Fortunately, the memo was approved and the cost of the project is about N3.5 billion and it is at no cost to government; the project will last for about 15 years when, thereafter, it reverts to the Federal Government.

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“The buildings I am referring to are located at the NASDRA premises here in Abuja,’’ he said.

Mamora said that the project would provide jobs for more than 200 people and provide an opportunity for learning experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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