THE Government has been slammed for giving billions to African countries which plan to have astronauts in space by 2030.
Figures released last week show that Nigeria received £1 billion of foreign aid intended to combat starvation and poverty from the UK since 2010.
But the West African country has already sent a staggering six satellites into orbit – two of which were built in Britain.
And the country now plans to launch a man into space by the end of the next decade.
A delegation from Nigeria will visit China this month to talk about Africa’s first manned space mission.
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Nigeria’s minister of science and technology, said: “The space programme is very important for a country like Nigeria.”
Nigerian officials have claimed that satellites are key in the fight against depraved jihadi terror group Boko Haram.
But officials have come under fire for building £10 billion satellites when two-thirds of Africans live on a no more than £1-a-day.
And impoverished Ethiopia has built Africa’s first observatory to the cost of £3.5 million.
Britain gives away over £300 million to the country each year, despite growing concerns over its human rights record.
Other “poor” countries in the continent also have intergalactic ambitions.
Ghana has launched a Space Science and Technology Institute while receiving £73 million in UK taxpayers' money.
And Kenya and Gabon are said to be pursuing similar schemes.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “It is deeply depressing that Ministers still think it appropriate to be sending taxpayer-funded aid to countries that can afford their own space programmes.”
UK Government figures show that between 2009 and 2014 Britain gave Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa more than £4 billion in foreign aid.