FG Approves N3.5 Billion Space Museum, Theatre

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele

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

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

A planetarium is a theatre built to present education and entertainment on space science.

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

Mr Mamora said the project, handled under Public-Private Partnership, would be sited at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) premises 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 agencies, which is NASRDA.

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

“And the buildings meant for this project have 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.

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

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.

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

Mr Mamora said 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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