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Reason Why FG Should Incorporate Space Law Into Curriculum

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Reason Why FG Should Incorporate Space Law Into Curriculum—-A space lawyer, Mr Mujahid Indabawa, has urged the Federal Government to incorporate space law into schools’ curriculum to increase its awareness and bring the country on the global map of international law practice.

Indabawa, who is also the Assistant Director, Legal and Space Regulation Services, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), said this on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

According  to  him, space law, as an aspect of international law, is an unconventional area practiced mainly by developed countries and few developing countries.

He said that the country had the legal backing to practice space law because it encompassed the practice of procuring a satellite,  launching it into the orbit and its operationalisation with provided guidelines.

The legal practitioner said that Nigeria was a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty, which is the framework for space law, consisting of its grand norms, laws and constitution.

“We derive every space revelation, law or theory from the Outer Space Treaty. It regulates production, procurement, deployment of satellites, and regulates how to operate the satellite.

“This is overseen by a body called the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), under the United Nations, domiciled in Vienna, Austria.

“We also have the Liability Convention; the Moon Treaty, an agreement governing the activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial bodies, Rescue of Astronauts Agreement and the Registration Convention.

“Whenever a country is a signatory to one of these treaties, then you can say it is practicing space law since it is international in nature,’’ he said.

He added that the National space Act also empowered a nation to venture into space law, hence the NASRDA Act of 2010.

Indabawa said that the Nigerian educational curriculum needed to be evolving, adding that there had been lots of emerging areas that were yet to be incorporated into its curriculum.

He, however, said that the emergence of private universities that were incorporating the emerging areas in their curriculum had brought about the competition into new aspects of law.

“Although NASRDA already has existing Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with many tertiary institutions across the country to teach space law at undergraduate level, it is still not sufficient.

“The way forward is introducing space law in our universities;  the government needs to do more to encourage this.

“We can bring in space law in modules because it can expose our students, it will bring Nigerians on the international map of international law practice,’’ he said.

With less than 20 space lawyers in Nigeria, Indabawa encouraged the youths to consider building a career in space law, adding that it is in high demand and space economy is lucrative.

He recalled that space economy was projected in 2020 to be a five billion dollars economy, adding that it surpassed the projection and earned over 50 billion dollars.

“This is an emerging sector that commercial companies are venturing into, it is no longer a government affair.

“The sector is now fully dominated by private companies, thus the need for more engineers, scientists, administrators and  lawyers, because you cannot have a company without a lawyer.

“It is not just about launching satellite, there are components to be created, there are lots of applications like Google maps, navigation software, which are spin offs people can leverage on,’’Indabawa said.

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