The Acting President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibanjo during a courtesy visit paid him by the IRRS Mission experts reiterated the importance of nuclear power stating that the Federal Government is committed to deploy nuclear energy in the energy mix of Nigeria in order to provide adequate power supply to Nigerians.

Speaking at the Aso Rock villa, the Acting President welcomed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts who visited him as part of the programmes lined up for the Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission (IRRS) to Nigeria and appreciated the Agency for its continuous support for Nigeria and stated Nigeria’s continued commitment to nuclear safety and security. He further said that the long standing relationship between Nigeria and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is very cordial and that Nigeria has over the years ensured that its usage of nuclear energy is for peaceful purposes and thus has ratified all conventions and treaties which it had signed with the agency over the years.

The IRRS experts were led on the visit by the Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Prof. Lawrence Dim who briefed the Acting President that the Mission is an international peer review which is vital to the regulatory effectiveness and the recommendations and suggestions are for the improvement towards better compliance with IAEA safety standards as well as foster good practices in the industry. He further briefed that IAEA has established review services which member states take advantage of for improvements and that it is in the light of this that Nigeria requested for the Mission in order to review the country’s infrastructure for nuclear safety and radiation protection as well as policy and strategy issues.

The Team Leader of the Review Mission which comprised 15 experts from 11 Member States of the IAEA, Mr. Lambert Matteocci thanked the government of Nigeria for requesting the review mission stating that Nigeria demonstrated commitment to the safe use of nuclear energy in the country. He stated the objectives of the mission and said that the mission has helped so much in facilitating fruitful exchange of ideas between the experts and the Nigerian counterparts and informed the Acting President that the reports of the mission will be submitted to the Federal Government of Nigeria with recommendations, suggestions and identified good practices. According to him “safety is not a static concept but dynamic concepts”.

He thereafter stressed on the development of competence at different levels particularly in NNRA, the regulatory body, and said that one of the pillars of the success of nuclear regulating is a strong independence from any entity involved in the promotion of nuclear. It is expected that Nigeria government will strengthen the independence of the NNRA. In addition, he extolled the excellent cooperative environment found in NNRA and also the cooperation of the participating staff.

The Acting President opined that the Federal Government looks forward to the Report of the Mission and promised that the recommendations contained therein will be given appropriate attention as the government does not want any short cut in the nuclear power programme implementation to ensure its safety in the country. 

The Acting President stated also that nuclear energy is the way to go for Nigeria judging from the energy crisis in the world.

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