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Minister calls for private sector participation in nuclear technology



Minister calls for private sector participation in nuclear technology

By Sylvester Thompson

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, said safety concerns can be adequately addressed through private sector involvement in nuclear technology.

The minister said this during the stakeholder engagement for the Nigeria 2050 Energy Calculator (NECAL 2050) on Thursday in Abuja.

“Our dear nation cannot continue to steer clear of the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

“We have to appeal to our businessmen so that they can start making money working on nuclear technology,” Onu said.

He stressed that nuclear power was a viable option to build a stable basic power supply and that the country should make the most of it in order to benefit from the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

According to him, nuclear technology is also useful in many fields such as medicine, agriculture, education and manufacturing, which can contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

He said Nigeria should work with other countries keen to help acquire the necessary skills in nuclear technology.

Professor Eli Bala, Director General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), said in his remarks that the energy calculator is an energy planning tool developed in 2020 by the UK Department for Energy and climate change (UK-DECC).

“This was to help explore public opinion on energy pathways that will help reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 from the 1990 baseline.

“In 2013, and in the spirit of promoting mitigation of global warming, the UK-DECC, as it was called, supported the Nigeria Energy Commission through the British High Commission in Abuja ”Said Bala.

He noted that this support was aimed at enabling Nigeria to adapt and produce the Nigerian version of the energy calculator called NECAL2050.

The CEO of ECN revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2015, ECN produced the first Nigerian version of the calculator (NECAL 2050).

He pointed out that this first version of NECAL 2050 has helped Nigeria establish its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris climate agreements.

The highlight of the event was a keynote address on the Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050 (NECAL2050) review, by Dr Abdulwaheed Ahmed, Director of Agriculture, Department of Energy Policy, Planning and Analysis, ECN .

Ahmed spoke of the energy calculator’s benefit of including, among other things, a ready tool to engage Nigeria’s energy experts and non-experts in the policy-making debate.

The Minister of the Environment, through a representative, Ms Iniobong Abiola-Awe, delivered a message of goodwill.

The event was organized by the ECN and the Climate Change Department of the Federal Ministry of the Environment and supported by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


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