As a competent regulator mandated to protect life, property and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation and ensure safety and security of radioactive sources and nuclear materials in Nigeria, the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) is also the sole government agency that issues Authorization for all nuclear and radioactive materials and ionizing generating equipment used in the different sectors of the economy in the country.
In fulfillment of its mandate, the NNRA held a meeting with the Kaduna state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed Baloni and her team to discuss modalities of licensing all ionizing radiation generating equipment in a 300 bed comprehensive Cancer Centre being built in Kaduna State, on 7th December, 2022 at the NNRA Headquarters in Abuja.
The meeting was a result of the application for Authorization submitted by Kaduna State Ministry of Health through its consultant on the ionizing generating equipment to be installed and used in the Hospital.
The DG/CEO NNRA, Dr. Yau Idris having welcomed the team from Kaduna State, highlighted the activities of the authority, particularly the authorizations given to the various sectors of the economy that use nuclear and radioactive materials. He stated that for health facilities, NNRA issues Authorization for Radiotherapy, Diagnostic and interventional radiology and nuclear medicine practices among others. He went further to state the various stages in obtaining Authorizations for this equipment which include design and construction, import, commissioning, operations and decommissioning, and that every stage has its specific requirements. He emphasized that paying of license fee does not guarantee obtaining the license, as all requirements must be fully met for Authorizations to be issued.
The DG further emphasized on the need to train and have trained specialists that can handle the equipment, maintenance engineers for maintenance of the equipment and need for Radiation Safety Advisers (RSAs) and Radiation Safety Officers (RSOs) to help ensure the safe operations of the equipment. The visiting team was tabled with the detailed requirements needed to obtain the various licenses.
Dr. Amina Baloni, while responding, stated that on the issue of having trained personnel to handle the equipment, the Kaduna State Government is committed to engaging experts within and outside the country that have requisite skills and capabilities in handling the equipment. She thanked the NNRA for the prompt response and promised to oblige to all requirements tabled before them for the Authorization issuance. The team reiterated its commitment to work cooperatively with the Authority in order to ensure the safety of lives and property and the environment of both the workers and patients of the facility.