Nigerian President Canvasses Nuclear Power for Electricity
President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, has said Nigeria needs to develop capacity for the generation of electricity through nuclear power, which he said might end up being the only source of energy.
Yar’Adua also instructed the Ministry of Science and Technology to align proposals of the national programme for deployment of nuclear power for generation of electricity with the overall national policy on power.
He said these after the Director-general of the National Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Erepamo Osaisai, briefed him on its activities in a presentation titled, “National Programme for the Deployment of Nuclear Energy for Electricity generation in Nigeria,” at the State House yesterday.
â€œWe need to develop the capacity to utilise nuclear power for power generation. Who knows, nuclear power may be the only source of energy in the future, and we must think of the future,” Yarâ€™Adua said.
Responding to proposals for further work by the Commission, Yarâ€™Adua said â€œwe have to align your work with the national power policy, taking cognisance of other sources of energy generation â€“ oil, gas, hydro, wind and solar.”
He, however, directed the Ministry to look at the regulatory framework, especially options of funding, considering the huge financial outlay which was required.
Speaking to State House Correspondents shortly after the presentation, Director- general, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Professor Shamsudeen Elegaba, said with the 3,000 megawatts of power that Nigeria currently generates, nuclear power is no longer an option but a necessity.
He said for Nigeria to achieve the United Nationsâ€™ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015, it needs close to 30,000 megawatts of electricity, thus, it is indeed time that the Federal Government buys into the nuclear option.
â€œI believe that government will buy into this option, because it is one of the seven-point agenda of President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua. In fact, he said it this way; â€œthe economy, the economy, the economy,â€ when he was at the G8 meeting. And to drive the economy, you need electricity.
You cannot run your factories on pedal-driven energy sources. You will require more stable just like hydro or nuclear,” he said.
From Josephine Lohor in Abuja, 07.24.2007