Ajayi Boroffice, Deputy Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, expressed concern after having recently discovered that the space agency in Nigeria that is supposed to hire scientists and engineers is hiring religious studies graduates and other unrelated courses.
At the annual national space dialogue/media conference on space science and technology on Friday, 4 December, the Boroffice said this.
He said the department needs to be sanitized because such acts are equal to misemployment, given that the agency’s support workers make up about 80% of the workforce. He also reported that individuals pay between N2 million and N2.5 million to get a space agency job.
How do you send religious students to the Space Centre? It is misemployment when the workforce is the support workers that makeup about 80 percent. This is incorrect. It’s the expertise we need. We need scientists to make up about 70 percent of the workforce, but the opposite is the case.
I discovered that the ICPC is around, scrutinizing work records, with N2 million, N2.5 million, I heard jobs won. This is unfortunate.
We must reexamine ourselves again. We have to sanitize the space agency so that we can accomplish the nation’s own mission.
In response to the accusation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, said the government is determined to correct the errors made.
I want to tell you that this administration is very involved and that this minister is a major space science and technology champion here and we will continue to do our best.
I want to tell the Senate Deputy Majority Leader that we are in agreement with you about the mistakes that have been made here.
There are also errors that you will find in the institutions of government. Yet we are committed to correct those errors, and we take the required steps to ensure that they are corrected.