President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said that Nigeria would deploy nuclear technology to achieve peace.
Jonathan said this at the inauguration of the Researchers’ Hostel and Conference Centre at the Nuclear Technology Centre, Sheda, Abuja.
Jonathan, who was represented by the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, said that apart from using nuclear technology to generate electricity, government would apply nuclear energy in agriculture and food security, human health and medicine, water resources management and applied scientific research.
He said: “The acquisition and use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is an important element in any nation’s path towards economic scientific and technological development.
“I must say that the decision to introduce nuclear power into our energy mix was made after a lengthy and meticulous process, which involved the use of analytical and planning tools with the cooperation and assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
The president gave the assurance that the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) would be repositioned to accelerate the country’s socio-economic development, but charged it to “develop and implement appropriate mechanisms to assess national, regional and international nuclear emergency preparedness and response capabilities.”
President Jonathan said the lessons learnt and still evolving from the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident in Japan and elsewhere should guide the implementation of the Nigeria’s nuclear programme.
“This requires NAEC to be painstaking and diligent in the planning, programming and implementation of the nuclear power programme,” he added.
In his remarks, the Commission’s chairman, Dr Franklin Osaisai, said that there was the need for more funding to enable the country to realise its nuclear potential.
He said that the various programmes being run by the commission had received accreditation from IAEA.
Dr Osaisai expressed optimism that the project would serve as an international and regional hub for education, training and technical workshops in nuclear science and technology.
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