Obasanjo inaugurates Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission

Aug 01, 2006 02:00 AM

President Olusegun Obasanjo pushed Nigeria's readiness to acquire nuclear energy as he inaugurated the board of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC).
The commission was first established in August 1976 to create an agency which would provide the requisite institutional framework and technical pathway to explore, exploit and harness atomic energy for peaceful applications in all its ramifications for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

President Obasanjo who described the acquisition and use of nuclear technology as a very important element in any nation's path that wants to achieve scientific and technological maturity, and who chairs the commission, said nuclear energy uses are multifarious and multidisciplinary.
"In addition to the generation of electricity, nuclear energy finds ready peaceful applications in agriculture and food security, medicine, industry, and in basic and applied scientific research," he emphasized.

President Obasanjo stated that with the inauguration of the board, Nigeria's quest for energy self-sufficiency has begun and "the NAEC will now be centrally placed to play its role for the eventual deployment of nuclear power plants for electricity generation, among other uses in Nigeria.”
“We have (by the inauguration) activated the focal point and specialized agency of government, which will serve as the vehicle mandated by law to promote, coordinate and streamline the implementation of our national nuclear energy programme.”

"It also further confirms the strong belief that with sustained consistency, the frontiers of development are within the reach of any determined and committed society driven by science and technology, and imbued with the vision to uplift its citizenry to a state of prosperity," the President noted.
He also stated that, "the global picture on the utilization of nuclear energy for the generation of electricity is becoming brighter by the day, and holds some good promise for the developing world, particularly for us in Nigeria. This technology will enable us to diversify our electricity generation base beyond oil and gas and hydro, to include nuclear and coal."

The President announced that the new position of the Nigerian government is in tandem with the new policy initiative of the US Government on nuclear energy tagged: "The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership" which seeks to popularize and expand the generation and use of nuclear electricity in the world, and yet make it more nuclear weapons proliferation resistant.
In this regard, he has directed the Ministers of Science and Technology and Power and Steel, Prof. Turner Isoun and Liyel Imoke, to develop the requisite framework for Nigeria to tune into this new policy perspective on nuclear energy development, and derive optimal benefit from it for Nigeria.

Meanwhile, President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that Nigeria must look beyond its current oil reserves and find alternative sources of renewable energy. Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Council on Production of Sugar/Sweet Sorghum and Manufacturing of Ethanol as Renewable Fuel, the President explained that this has become necessary because oil reserves cannot be replaced.
"When the oil reserve which is non-replenishable is exhausted, we have to find answers in renewable energy," he stated. President Obasanjo also noted that increasing dependence on ethanol and bio-diesel would not only create more jobs and wealth but also enable the country's oil reserves last longer for the benefit of future generations.

Source: This Day
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