The 26 engineers were honoured for designing and building the training model satellite to flight standard.
Presenting the awards, Olatunde Akinteye, chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Abuja Chapter, said the feat of the Nigerian engineers was worthy of recognition having been the first set of African engineers to successfully design and build a satellite to flight standard.
He praised the efforts of the engineers, and called on the federal government to confer them with national honours and recognition similar to what is usually bestowed on footballers.
“This crop of engineers have not only done their agency proud but have distinguished themselves as well as proved to the world that Nigeria has come of age and have the capability to produce satellites,” Akinteye added.
Seidu Mohammed, director-general of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) said the honour was a great one for the agency.
He thanked the Nigerian Society of Engineers for the gesture towards the engineers, saying “this is not only recognition and appreciation shown to the engineers, but also to the Agency as a whole.”
Mohammed said that the engineers and scientists have shown that education in Nigeria was as good as anywhere else in the world. “Despite the schooling conditions here in the country, Nigerians still perform well and even better given better conditions elsewhere in the world.”
He said Nigeria’s decision to venture into space technology was not an ego trip, but an opportunity to harness the immense benefit of space technology for the development of the nation; adding that “no nation can boast of meaningful development without employing the tools of science and technology”.