Federal Government Appoints Halilu Ahmad Shaba As Nigerian Space Agency Director-General, Reverses Decision

The Federal Government of Nigeria had appointed Dr Halilu Shaba Ahmad as the new acting Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), following the expiration of the two-term tenure of Professor Seidu Mohammed in June.

The Agency had earlier, on July 2, 2019, announced the appointment of Mr Jonathan Angulu as an acting Director-General to facilitate a seamless transition process between the outgone DG and an incoming one. Mr Jonathan handed over to Dr Ahmad two days earlier to continue in an acting capacity until the Federal Government appointed a substantive Director-General.

Prior to his appointment as the acting Director-General of NASRDA, Dr Ahmad served in various leadership capacities since joining the Agency in 2009. Most recently, he served as the Director of Strategic Space Applications, in which capacity he led the department’s policy initiations and execution within the national space programmes framework.

Dr Ahmad previously served as a Deputy Director at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) between 2006 and 2009, before joining NASRDA.

Dr Ahmad’s educational history reveals a trajectory of academic excellence and expertise in the field of remote sensing and the application of space science and technology for sustainable development. He obtained a B.Sc in Geography in 1988 from Bayero University, Kano, and a Master’s degree in Remote Sensing from the Federal University of Technology, Minna in 1993.

Dr. Ahmad continued his research in Remote Sensing up to a doctoral level at the Federal University of Technology Minna, where he obtained his doctorate in Remote Sensing in 1999. He lectured at the university between 2001 and 2006, before joining NEMA.

As the acting Director-General of Nigeria’s principal space agency, Dr. Ahmad was expected to drive the nation’s vision in the development and application of space science and technology for socio-economic development.

New Update: 29 July, 2019

In a dramatic and unexpected turn of events, the Federal Government of Nigeria reversed the appointment of Dr. Shaba. The reason adduced for this decision was that the appointment of Dr. Ahmad “was made in violation of civil service regulations, and amounted to an infraction of regulatory policies”.

Mr. Jonathan Angulu has now been reinstated to lead NASRDA as its acting Director-General until a new Director General is appointed.


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