The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the regulation and licensing of space activities.
The law firm, held as Nigeria’s leading space law advisory practice, will help the space agency explore the licensing framework for space activities as enacted in the Regulation on Licensing and Supervision of Space Activities which empowers NASRDA to license all space activities in Nigeria.
“NASRDA and OAL have worked together to fill this gap by enacting the Regulation on Licensing and Supervision of Space Activities, 2015 (Vol.108, No.106, of 28th September 2021, Government Notice No.158, Page3 B4209-4235),” said Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) at a Lagos briefing where he noted that a critical missing piece of legislation is the licensing framework for space activities.
The Senior Advocate believes the space guideline “is a great leap forward in Nigeria’s quest to develop and harness the many potentials of space” as all activities will now be registered within Nigeria’s jurisdiction.
Revenues from licence fees will run into billions of naira, Agbakoba noted.
His words: “Given the government’s very scarce resources, additional income from licensing revenue will add substantially,” he said.
Head of Public Sector Practice Group at OAL, Collins Okeke, said the firm was working with the National Assembly to review the NARSDA Act to incorporate aspects of the UK Space Industry Act 2018 to bring it in conformity with international best practices.
Head of Space Law Practice Group, Anne Agi, said OAL was the only law firm in Nigeria with a practice group exclusively for space law.
“OAL has a long history of working with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), the National Assembly, policymakers, and, in particular, the NASRDA to help strengthen the legal, institutional, and regulatory framework that governs space in Nigeria.
“This includes reviewing and analysing the current space policy and creating a new policy that covers more aspects of space activities, (e.g. military policy, public policy, commercial policy); harmonising national laws with principles in international law and ensuring domestic legislation covers all areas/aspects of space activities,” Agi said.
COVER IMAGE: Director-General, NASRDA, Dr. Halilu Shaba Ahmad (left); NASRDA Legal Adviser, Mr A. Isah and Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).