Procurement of license before purchase, installation and operation of radioactive material in the country remains the sole responsibility of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) as enshrined in Act 19 of 1995. This is to ensure the protection of life, health and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.
To achieve this, NNRA organized a one-day meeting with facility Operators on 6th April, 2021 in its Headquarters, Abuja, to proffer solution to the issue of noncompliance by facilities that are operating without NNRA’s authorization. The facilities were identified during the Search and Secure of Orphan/ Legacy Radioactive Sources Exercise conducted in 2020 by the Authority.
The meeting reiterated the Act 19 of 1995 that empowers the Authority to categorize and license activities involving ionizing radiation; particularly, the possession, production, processing, manufacture, purchase, sale, import, export, handling, use, transformation, transfer, trading, assignment, transport, storage and disposal of any radioactive material, nuclear material, radioactive waste, prescribed substances and any apparatus emitting ionizing radiation.
The DG/CEO, Dr. Idris appreciated the operators in attendance and emphasized that the Stakeholders Meeting is a forum to interact, identify challenges and fill gaps thereby leading to enhance compliance and safety to lives and environment from the harmful effect of ionizing radiation
He emphasized that even though the Authority have secured its Enforcement Policy and Procedure Document which authorizes it to carry out compliance and prosecution of noncompliance operators, the aim is not to prosecute but to ensure compliance to safety regulations. He stated that only defaulters will be prosecuted as stated by law
Dr. Idris further reiterated that the Authority must be consulted for licensing before importation or installation of any radioactive material in the country
Representatives of the operators thanked the NNRA Management for the opportunity given to them and expressed their readiness to cooperate with NNRA to meet the Authority’s criteria for licenses. They urged the Authority to continue to engage its Stakeholders in similar meetings periodically in order to enhance compliance.