Nigerian Government VS Drones: Why Regulating The Skies Is A Complicated Thing

With the proliferation of drones into Nigeria in the last 5 years, regulation was altogether inevitable. Since the announcement made by the NCAA 2 weeks ago, opinions have flowed through various media questioning the intelligence of the Nigerian Policy makers on the matter. Headlines have ranged from overly dramatic to downright crazy.

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More balanced reactions surfaced and sooner it became evident that there was an obvious division even amongst drone operators. Many like this writer onTechsuplex, believe that the government’s handling of the matter is ignorant and backward.

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On the flipside, a few more people share the opinion of Odionye Confidence, owner of a traffic app startup, who was interviewed on Channels TV, and who believes the government are on the track in the right direction.

Farabale Weekly spoke to Drone Operator, James Amuta, who operates his Drone business under the pseudonym ‘TheDroneGuy’ and he gave us some insight into the NCAA’s directive and the implications for Drone operators in Nigeria. Hit play on the video above.

In the new dawn of Drone Technology, regulating the use of drones is always going to be complicated. In South Africa, new drone laws were introduced in 2015 and similar arguments played on the pros and cons of drone usage. The Kenyan government is also currently seeking to fine-tune the regulations of drones within its airspace. Governments in most developed and under-developed countries are having to play catch-up in this regard and are prone to get their legs all tangled up.

While it seems most drone operators are commercial with some enthusiastic hobbyists, there are real safety, privacy and security issues to be considered. What’s to stop insurgents from strapping a bomb to a drone and guiding it into say a crowded mall or an airport? Or from drug traffickers from using it to transport their contraband across porous police boundaries? or from unscrupulous elements from using it to spy on individuals, organizations and even Governments?

 

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Goke Alabi

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