FG To Explore Other Means Of Generating Electricity
Nigerian electricity consumers may soon heave a sigh of relief going by the statement of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola that the federal government is committed to diversifying its energy mix beyond the traditional sources of gas, oil and Hydro to include nuclear and other renewable sources like solar, biomass and wind.
The Minister said this when he received the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Yukiya Amano, in his office.
He commended the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission , NAEC, and its team of experts for the research works and human capacity building efforts in this specialized field, urging the Commission to leave no stone unturned in letting Nigerians know that nuclear energy is for peace and could be used for developmental purposes in engineering, medicine, environmental protection, security, agriculture and food security.
Fashola challenged Atomic Energy experts to do more in the area of public enlightenment as many Nigerians have limited knowledge about the use of nuclear technology for power.
“You must begin to break down the seeming complex issues around nuclear power into simple terms and language that our people can understand, we must try to demystify issues around nuclear power in Nigeria,” he said, adding that the nation cannot afford to be left behind in the acquisition of appropriate nuclear technologies.
Fashola said a comprehensive nuclear law is with the Parliament and would be enacted soon, assuring that Government will do all within its power to strengthen the capacity of the regulatory regime.
According to the Minister, all the Procurement activities for the first nuclear Power Plant with generation capacity of 1,200MW of power to the national grid by 2025 would be done as scheduled.
The two sites selected by the Nigeria Atomic Energy commission are located in Geregu in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi-State and Itu Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State. These projects are to be financed through Public-Private Participation policy for infrastructural development in the country with the target being to increase it to 4,800MW by the year 2035.
The Director-General of the International Atomic Agency, Mr. Yukayi Amano, said that the IAEA regards Nigeria as an important partner, which he said was why the Agency wants to transfer nuclear technology, which it is convinced, would not be used adversely. He emphasized that IAEA, as a responsible international agency, would want Nigeria to use nuclear power for peace and development.
Also, the Chairman of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, said that Nigeria has made remarkable progress in the development and strengthening of activities in the diverse and specialized areas of Nuclear Energy, such as energy planning, peaceful use of nuclear for industrial, education, research works, medicine and power generation.
He said that the commission would continue to drive efforts in the area of technical know-how, manpower and capacity building for the overall development of nuclear technologies in the country.