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No evidence US space agency Nasa opening first African headquarters in Nigerian town of Aba

IN SHORT: The US space agency is not opening its “African headquarters” in Nigeria, contrary to online claims.

“Breaking News: NASA to Open First African Headquarters in Aba, Abia State, Thanks to Reliable Power Supply,” begins a message shared on Facebook in Nigeria. 

The post continues: “In a groundbreaking development, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced the establishment of its first-ever African headquarters in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.”

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) is the US space agency responsible for space exploration, scientific discovery and technological advancement.

Aba is a trading town in Nigeria’s southern state of Abia, famous for the production of footwear, belts, bags and clothing.

It was in the national news in February 2024 after president Bola Tinubu inaugurated a 188 megawatt power plant

Developed by Geometric Power Plant, the US$800 million plant is expected to supply electricity to the town and surrounding area without relying on the national grid.

Following the installation of the plant, the media reported that residents of the town celebrated 48 hours of uninterrupted power.

The plant has been 20 years in the making, having been initiated in 2003 by former minister of power, Barth Nnaji. Nnaji also founded the Geometric Power Group, which built the plant. 

But has Nasa made such an announcement, adding another honour for the town of Aba? We checked.


No publicly available evidence

A search of Nasa’s official website and X account (the social media site formerly known as Twitter) found no evidence that the agency had opened a base in Nigeria or anywhere else in Africa.

According to its website, its headquarters are in Washington DC in the US. We contacted Nasa to ask if they had any plans to open an office in Nigeria but had not heard back at the time of writing.

No local or international media have reported that Nasa is opening an Africa office in Nigeria, which would be expected if the news were true.

There isn’t publicly available evidence to suggest that the US space agency is establishing a presence in Nigeria.

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