Nigeria: No going back on 4,800Mw nuclear power by 2035 – Govt

*Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Power, Works & Housing.

*Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Power, Works & Housing.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

18 March 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal government has said there is no going back on Nigeria’s quest for 4,800MW from nuclear technology by the year 2035.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said government was working hard to diversify its energy mix beyond the traditional sources of gas, oil and hydro to include nuclear and other renewable sources like solar, biomass and wind.

A statement from the Ministry quoted Fashola as saying when he received the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, in Abuja.

The minister commended the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) and its team of experts for the research works and human capacity building efforts in this specialised field, urging it not to relent in the crusade of making Nigerians deploy safe use of the technology.

“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.

The minister added that Nigeria had developed a comprehensive nuclear law currently awaiting legislative inputs at the National Assembly.

Fashola assured that government would strengthen the capacity of the regulatory regime. He noted that 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 commission are located in Geregu in Ajaokuta Local Council of Kogi State and Itu council area Akwa-Ibom State.

“These projects are to be financed through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy for infrastructural development in the country with the target being to increase it to 4,800MW by the year 2035,” he noted.

Earlier, Amano informed the minister that IAEA regards Nigeria as an important partner, hence 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, wants Nigeria to use nuclear power for peace and development.

NAEC chairman, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, said the nation had made remarkable progress in the development and strengthening of activities in the diverse and specialised areas of nuclear energy, such as energy planning, peaceful use of nuclear for industrial, education, research works, medicine and power generation.

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