The Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), Dr Yau Idirs was on a courtesy visit to the Permanent Secretary of the Ecological Funds Office, Dr Habiba Lawal in Abuja on the 15th October 2020.
The visit is one of the Chief Executive’s efforts in reaching out to other government agencies to ensure better service delivery to the nation. He solicited for collaboration from the agency to enable NNRA to carry out its mandate of regulating as appropriate the exploration, mining and milling of radioactive ores and other ores associated with the presence of radioactive substance thereby protecting life, health, property and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation, amongst others.
Dr Yau Idris cited an instance in 2006 where the NNRA through the Ecological fund conducted a study on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) which occurred as a result of the mining activities by companies in Jos Plateau and how that exercise had exposed about 5000 houses which were affected by tin tailings found in materials used in building houses and thereafter removal of the NORMS by of Environment thereby averting more deaths. He further added that a similar exercise was conducted in the Niger delta region with specific focus on oil and gas installations that brings up NORMS. The exercise ultimately led to the cleaning up of the NORMS in the region.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ecological Fund office, Dr Habiba Lawal while responding, acknowledged the vital role NNRA is playing in protecting lives and environment and commended the effort of the Authority in coming up with such laudable projects citing that the existence of such projects could have averted the mysterious deaths that occurred in Zamfara State in 2010.
She stated that though grants are competitive to obtain, the Authority’s proposal will be presented to the President at the next meeting in December, urging NNRA to remain steadfast in its struggles to safeguard life, health, property and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.