From Uche Usim, Abuja
The federal government on Monday said it would leverage the enormous potential inherent in nuclear technology, currently championed by the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), to boost medicine, agriculture, education, industry, energy and other fields, in its efforts to take the Nigerian economy to the next level.
The Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Andrew David Adejo, made the disclosure in Abuja at the Technical Meeting and Stakeholders Workshop on the activities of the Nuclear Technology Centre (NTC), Sheda, Abuja.
According to him, the facilities at the NTC need to be put to functional use, commending the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for providing some good measurement, monitoring and analytical equipment to be installed for the advancement of the various works of research and of nuclear energy applications within the centre.
The NTC, he added, is used as a platform for building capacities for manpower development for the implementation of the national nuclear power programme. ‘Officers have been trained within and outside the country at Masters and PHDs degree levels in Nuclear Science and Nuclear Engineering,’ Adejo said.
‘This Workshop on the activities of the NTC could not have come at a better time than now as we are witnessing the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Globally, the pandemic had affected public health, economy, medicine, and transportation etc. Therefore, the knowledge acquired from this stakeholders workshop can be applied to the peaceful application of Nuclear Science and Technology to provide services in the field of Medic for the treatment of COVID-19 patients,’ he added.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Acting Chairman of NAEC, Mr Mukhtar Sani Ali, noted that the Commission was always willing and ready to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to achieve the NTC objectives.
‘The NTC is mandated to initiate, promote and implement rational, realistic and innovative research and development programmes for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and to render service to the nation as well and to foster a strong linkage among industries, research institutes and the higher institutions of learning.
‘The Commission has strategically, systematically and progressively undertaken the development of various facilities at NTC for the execution of different activities, which are aimed at actualising the above objectives.
‘Nuclear technology applications as well as research and development in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry, energy, water resources, mining, etc.
‘Other facilities of the Centre include the multipurpose Gamma Irradiation Facility, Multipurpose Laboratory for Nuclear Instrumentation, Nuclear Safety & Security, Facility for processing, treatment and storage of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes, etc,’ he stated.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs Onyekachi Joe Nwogu, Clerk of the House of Representatives Committee on Inter-governmental Affairs, who represented Mr Akin Alabi, the Committee’s Chairman, described the stakeholders meeting as very pivotal to effectively manage nuclear energy services.
She made assurances that the committee will always help the Commission achieve its mandate and deliver the right services to Nigerians.