Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, promised that the Senate will work closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) to enact a comprehensive law that will give Nigeria access to use nuclear energy for the generation of power and other peaceful purposes.
Saraki dropped the hint when the duo of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NAEC, Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, and the Director-General of the IAEA, Ambassador Yukiya Amano, led their management teams on a courtesy visit to the Senate President in Abuja.
He said that the nation’s objective as regards to nuclear energy is clear, particularly in the area of power generation.
He added that Nigeria is ready to play her role and work closely with the world’s nuclear regulatory body for the utilisation of nuclear energy for developmental purposes.
“The message here is that we need to work together in providing a robust, comprehensive law that will allow us to take advantage of nuclear energy for the purpose of development and peace in this country.
“It is clear particularly in the area of power generation and in order to ensure the development of our country, we must move away from the low level of generation that exists.
“We believe that as the largest economy in Africa, and a country with a population of 160million, with a thriving democratic government, I think we have earned our seat in a place where we too should play our own role to be a very strong member of the IAEA.
“We are prepared to work very closely with the IAEA and I think one of the things we should look at after this is to organise a stakeholders meeting so that we can put together a law that will provide comfort to IAEA, to the users and also the investors.
“I want to assure you that we are ready to work to pass a law that will meet global best practices and that will give confidence to the agency and everybody,” Saraki assured.
Earlier, Amano, who commended the Senate for operating an all inclusive legislature, said that the best way to ensure the safety of nuclear energy is to enact a robust and comprehensive law.
Amano said that the objective of the IAEA is to ensure that nuclear energy is used for peaceful and developmental purposes in a safe, secure and sustainable manner.
“The best way to ensure the safety of nuclear energy is to enact a robust and comprehensive law. It is only lawmakers that can enact a comprehensive law to protect human health and environment and to ensure that there is nuclear safety,” Amano said.