The Senate has urged the Federal Government to re-position the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority with a view to ensuring safety, security safeguards and physical protection of nuclear materials, including hazardous wastes in Nigeria.
Similarly, the upper chamber also charged the executive arm of government to re-engineer and recognize the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, while calling for expediency on the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards bill currently with the Senate.
The recommendations were sequel to the deliberations and decisions taken during plenary on a bill sponsored by Senator Tanko Al-Makura.
The lawmaker had, while presenting the bill for deliberation projected that the Nigerian economy would experience 10% growth rate if the country explored modern energy options for electricity generation.
According to him, nuclear energy is one of the cleanest and safest sources of energy that does not produce greenhouse gases.
Al-Makura recalled that in 2006, Nigeria ratified critical treaties with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna Austria, with the aim of enabling Nigeria access nuclear power.
He described the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Russia as timely, given that it presented an opportunity to implement bilateral agreements on nuclear energy signed by both countries.
The lawmaker, however, pointed out further that the treaties and protocols on nuclear energy ratified by Nigeria, which are legal guaranties for nuclear energy, were yet to be domesticated in the country, given that they failed to reach third reading during the sixth and eight national assemblies respectively.
Al-Makura said Nigeria’s inability to include nuclear energy as part of its energy mix had constrained the manufacturing sector and negatively affected the cost of doing business in Nigeria.
He cautioned: “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.”