NEW DELHI, Aug 14: India and Nigeria signed an agreement on space cooperation, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said.
Calling Nigeria India's close friend and the largest trading partner in Africa, Muraleedharan said the MoU is another milestone in the relations of the two countries.
"Glad to join minister @Dr_OgbonnayaOnu in the signing ceremony of India-Nigeria MoU on space cooperation. Nigeria is our close friend and largest trading partner in Africa. This MoU is another milestone in India-Nigeria relations," he said in a tweet.
In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Nigeria on 'cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes' was concluded at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Abuja.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Muraleedharan through video link. Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria, attended the event in Abuja.
ISRO Scientific Secretary R Umamaheswaran was also present through video link from ISRO Headquarters in Bengaluru, the statement said.
The MoU envisages India-Nigeria collaboration in space science, planetary exploration, ground stations, development of micro and mini satellites and joint space research and development, the statement said.
"It provides for capacity building assistance by ISRO, exchange of scientific know-how, exchanges between academic institutes and joint symposiums/conferences. Cooperation in remote sensing, communications and navigation will benefit Nigeria in the fields of forestry, environment, agriculture, mining, watershed development and connectivity," it added.
Over the last 12 years, 49 Nigerian nationals have attended various short-term ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) courses in India in the fields of Remote Sensing, GIS and Geoinformatics, conducted by the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun; Geological Survey of India Training Institute, Hyderabad; and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Noida, the statement said.
The above MoU will further enhance India's capacity building assistance to Nigeria, it said.
On the occasion, both sides also agreed to sign a subsidiary MoU between New Space India Limited (NSIL), under ISRO, and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria, on cooperation in use of geospatial technologies, the statement said. - PTI