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Defence Minister Commissions Medical, Welfare & Spiritual Projects at Defence Space Administration; Maj Gen Whyte attributes structures to need to key into DSA mandate.

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Rep of Defence Minister and Perm Sec ministry of Defence, Mr Sabiu Zakari recieving a memento from Major General Whyte

Defence Minister, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) on Friday June 19, 2020 commissioned three new structures comprising the a Clinic, a Chapel and a Lounge for drivers and cleaners at the headquarters complex of the Defence Space Administration in Abuja.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, the minister noted that the establishment of the Defence Space Administration by the National Space Policy and Programme in 2001 has been a blessing to the nations’ defence evolution.

According to the minister, “Space, as we all know is the fourth domain of warfare. Therefore, the acquisition of space science and technology assets as well as knowledge has become imperative for any efficient armed force desirous of a highly competitive edge.

Maj Gen Whyte reading his welcome address

“Equally, the modest achievements of the Defence Space Administration in this short period of its existence are indicative of its commitment for greater heights.

Continuing the minister said, “You will recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, on assumption of office on 29th May 2015, embarked on the process of transforming the armed forces of Nigeria. The transformation process is anchored on 3 pillars which are Capacity Building, Restructuring/Reorganization, and Personnel Welfare.

“The realization of Mr. Presidents’ aspiration to improve the productivity of the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s personnel, informed the provision of budgetary allocations to the DSA despite other competing demands in other areas of the national economy.

He therefore congratulated the Chief of Defence Space Administration and the DSA for coming up with the infrastructure projects which will positively impact the spiritual well-being, health and welfare of the personnel and civilian staff of DSA.

“I also commend the CDSA for the judicious use of the resources provided for this purpose and sincerely hope that the military personnel and civilian staff of the DSA will maintain and sustain these structures in good condition in line with global best practices”, the minister added.

The Clinic building

Earlier, the Chief of Defence Space Administration, Major General Emmanuel George Whyte in his welcome address, noted that the Defence Space Agency which metamorphosed into the Defence Space Administration was established on October 2014 to implement the defence and security aspects of the National Space Policy and Programmes (NSPP) 2001.

“The DSA Act of 2016 is the legal backing for the existence of the Administration. The Act, therefore gives the DSA the mandate to manage the defence and security aspects of space activities in Nigeria, including ensuring the safety of the cyber space through cybersecurity operations.

Major General Whyte added, “At inception, the Administration was using one of NASDRA office blocks as its temporary headquarters as the administration lacked the necessary facilities required to function effectively. The desire to speedily key into its mandate, saw the DSA embark on gradual construction of infrastructures, based on budget releases, to partially address the challenges of inadequate office facilities.

The new Chapel building

The CDSA disclosed that the 3 projects for commissioning are meant to provide for the spiritual, medical and welfare needs of DSA staff adding, “In particular, the Clinic with its well-equipped laboratory will provide first line medical cares in events of illness or accident within the premises.

“Equally, the medical staff will provide ambulatory services, awareness lectures for prevention of communicable diseases among others. The drivers/cleaners lounge will likewise provide a resting place for this cadre of personnel. It will serve as a morale booster for the drivers because it gives them as sense of recognition and relevance.

While noting that the construction of the projects for the wellbeing and welfare of DSA personnel were in fulfilment of one of the cardinal points of the Chief of Defence Staff vision for the armed forces of Nigeria, Major General Whyte said, “It is equally pertinent to inform this gathering that the DSA Service Bay is currently under construction and it will be completed in due time for commissioning and utilization.”

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