From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As the power sector has defied every known solution, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, at the weekend, moved for the adoption of nuclear energy as a way to solve the nation’s erratic power problems.
Apart from power supply, he said, nuclear energy is equally useful in medicine, agriculture, education and manufacturing. The technology can significantly help economic growth; job creation, poverty reduction and overall national development.
Onu made the advocacy at the Stakeholders Engagement Meeting for the Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050 in Abuja.
“The concern for safety is one that can be adequately handled through the participation of the private sector in nuclear technology. We should also work with any country or countries willing to initially assist us in acquiring the necessary expertise needed in nuclear technology. I am happy that we have highly trained Nigerians in this area, many of whom work and reside in the high income nations of the world. What we need to do is to bring them back home. There should be no technology that we cannot embrace as a nation. We should never forget that Nigeria is a big nation. We have the largest concentration of black people in the world with 2.64 per cent of world population. We are currently ranked as the 7th most populous nation in the world,” he said.
Throwing more light on Energy Calculator 2050, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Professor Eli Jidere Bala said that it is an energy planning tool developed in 2010 by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (UK-DECC) to help explore public opinion on energy pathways that will help to facilitate the reduction of UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 relative to the 1990 baseline emissions.
According to him, Nigeria Paris Commitment is to reduce its GHG emission by 20 per cent unconditionally and 45 per cent conditionally by 2030 through solar photovoltaic (PV) off-grid power generation of 14 GW; elimination of gas flaring, promotion of mass transportation systems; reduce energy intensity by 30 per cent at 2 per cent per annum.
“As you may recall, energy development processes in Nigeria that contribute to GHG emission and global warming include gas flaring, transportation, power generation, cooking and heating,” he said .