Robert Borrofice, an ex-biology teacher in Nigeria, won’t be found in an internet cafe conversing with the gullible to get any more millions though.
After acquiring an advanced fee of $13 million, he then promptly blasted it into space, never to be seen again.
Because Borrofice is the leader of Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), a burgeoning organisation in the African nation that is utilising computers and other technology for means less criminal than those the country has typically been associated with.
To many, the thought of Nigeria having a space program sounds like a scam, or an hoax at best. However, the ambitious Borrofice sees their fledgling efforts as a means to aid medical and agricultural plans and even hopes that the nation will one day build an international spaceport.
In a country with far more pressing and significant problems, Borrofice has funded his space program on an amazingly tight budget. In 2003 the NASRDA spent a mere $13 million on launching an imaging satellite, NigeriaSat-1, that compares favourably to American satellites of the 1990s that cost $300 million. The satellite collects data which is then used to educate farmers so they can choose locations and times for planting rice and other crops.
With Nigeria’s equatorial location, Borrofice believes that the construction of a spaceport could attract international investment for the launching of rockets and satellites, thereby allowing his dream to become self-sufficient.
One just hopes that any communications satellites they launch are put to their intended and beneficial purposes!