Nigeria Goes Nuclear: News Report

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Nigeria to develop nuclear power, says Obasanjo

By Ted Iwere, United Nations, New York

“Nuclear energy has become a veritable source for socio-economic development and a reliable source for electricity generation. We note in particular the global trend for the utilisation of nuclear technology for the generation of electricity, agricultural development, human health and environmental development, especially for developing countries.

In the context of this development and the enormous energy crisis that confronts us in Nigeria, my government has decided to inaugurate the Board of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). With the inauguration of the Board, our quest for energy self-sufficiency has begun.”

With these words, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared to the global community Nigeria’s desire to develop nuclear power in a statement delivered by the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joy Ogwu, at the General Debate of the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States.

He pointed out that in contemplating the nuclear project, Nigeria remained resolute in its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Pelindaba Treaty on African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. “We wish to assure the international community of our determination to restrict the use of nuclear energy for purely peaceful purposes”.

In a valedictory tone, he used the forum to reiterate his intention to quit office at the end of his tenure on May 29, 2007: “As I am attending the United Nations General Assembly for the last time in my capacity as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues and the secretary-General as well as all the staff of our Organization for their support and co-operation over the past seven years”.

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