The Union Cabinet was on Wednesday apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Nigeria on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
The MoU has been signed between Indian Space Research Organisation (at Bengaluru in June 2020) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria at Abuja (in August 2020)
An official release said that the MoU will lead to setting up a joint working group, drawing members from Department of Space (DOS)/ISRO and National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementation.
The release said India and Nigeria have been trying to have formal space cooperation for more than a decade.
It said that with the initiatives from the Indian High Commission to Nigeria, a draft inter-Governmental MoU for space cooperation was shared with Nigerian authorities through the Ministry of External Affairs.
"After a few iterations through diplomatic channels, both sides have arrived at a workable draft of the MoU and the same was processed for internal approvals. Though the approvals for signing the MoU was obtained in time, appropriate opportunities/occasions for the signing of this MoU have not arisen due to cancellation of a few visits in late 2019 and early 2020 and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic situation," the release said.