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Nigeria Seeks Russia’s Expertise As Senate Advocates Nuclear Energy

Source: 
Daily Independent

Umaru Tanko Al-Makura

LAGOS –The Nigeria Senate advocated the need for the inclusion of nuclear power into the country’s energy mix. The development was sequel to federal government’s plan to diversify the nation’s energy mix – with the inclusion of nuclear energy technology from Russia, This was part of the resolution reached by the Senate recently following a motion by Sen. Al-Makura Umar Tanko representing Nassarawa South.

In 2017, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom and Nigeria signed agreements for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants and nuclear research center in Nigeria.

The Senate noted that the primary sources of energy for the production of electricity in Nigeria includes gas, hydro, oil, and Coal, with current power generation capacity of 7000 Mega Watts.

Excerpts from a statement from the senate: “ further noted that experts using modern energy modeling tools had estimated that for the Nigerian economy to grow at the rate of 10 percent, the country’s electricity requirement by 2020 will need to reach 30,000MW and by 2030 it will be 78,000MW.”

The statement further noted that the Senate is aware that nuclear energy is one of the cleanest and safest source of energy in the world today and nuclear power generation do not produce greenhouse gases.

Recalling that the Nigeria and the Russian Federation signed bilateral agreements on Nuclear Energy cooperation, the senate said that the recent visit by Nigeria’s President to Russia was a move in the right direction to stimulate implementation.

Noting that billions of Naira were spent towards energy increment by previous administrations with no commensurate benefits to Nigeria in improved power generation; the senate observed that the treaties and protocols on nuclear energy ratified by Nigeria which are the legal guarantees for nuclear energy are yet to be domesticated in Nigeria, same having failed to reach 3rd reading at the Senate in both the 6th and 8th National Assembly respectively.

Worried that power outages in Nigeria have constituted the major constraint to the development of the manufacturing sector and negatively affect the cost of running the business in Nigeria and ultimately the economy of the country,

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The senate noted with concern that unless the energy mix in Nigeria is broadened to include nuclear energy, the persistent power outages being experienced by the country will not be easy to address.

The upper legislative the chamber urged the federal government to reposition the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority to enable it to carry out its mandate of ensuring safety, security safeguards and physical protection of nuclear materials including hazardous waste in Nigeria.

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