On 23rd July 2020, the Senate Joint Committee for Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Science and Technology held a Stakeholders’ Consultative Hearing on the Bill of an Act to repeal the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act of No. 19 of 1995 and reenact the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards Act (NSSS bill).
The Bill seeks to re-establish an already existing legal and regulatory framework for the safe application of nuclear technology and reposition the NNRA by strengthening its regulatory functions thereby enabling Nigeria meet its national and international obligations on the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
The process of re-enactment of this Bill commenced in the 8th Assembly but unfortunately did not sail through before the expiration of that Assembly.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Senator Albert Bassey Akpan in his opening remarks said the Committee is committed to see to the quick passage of the Bill hence the calling for a Consultative Public Hearing to accommodate all stakeholders in the industry. He assured stakeholders that their inputs and submissions will be considered appropriately and hoped that the Bill will be passed into law soonest.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources represented by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Bitrus B. Nabasu stated the importance of nuclear technology and enjoins its peaceful application in a number of Nigeria’s socio economic activities. He highlighted the notable deficiencies the Bill seeks to address especially on all modern areas of nuclear safety and security as prescribed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He then applauded the 9th Assembly for the early start in consideration of the Bill.
The DG/CEO of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Dr. Yau Idris who led the Authority’s Management Staff together with the NUPENG and PENGASSAN leadership of NNRA to the hearing concurred with the Permanent Secretary’s submissions.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is the supervising Ministry of the NNRA and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources is the Alternate Chairman of the NNRA Governing Board.
The NSSS Bill once passed will take care of the issues of prime responsibility for security as well as nuclear security coordination among others.
Stakeholders in the Nuclear Sector and concerned public well also well represented.
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