The Nigerian Senate has urged Federal Government to reposition the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) with a view to ensuring safety, security safeguards and physical protection of nuclear materials including hazardous waste in Nigeria.
The upper chamber urged the executive arm of government to re-engineer and recognize the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, while calling for expediency on the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards bill currently with the Senate.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, said that the Nigerian economy would experience ten percent growth rate if the country accommodates modern energy options for electricity generation.
According to him, Nuclear energy is one of the cleanest and safest sources of energy that do not produce greenhouse gases.
He stated that in 2006, Nigeria ratified critical treaties with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna Austria, with the aim of enabling Nigeria access nuclear power.
The lawmaker said that the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Russia was timely, given that it presents an opportunity to implement bilateral agreements on nuclear energy signed by both countries.
He however disclosed that the treaties and protocols on nuclear energy ratified by Nigeria which are legal guaranties for nuclear energy were yet to be domesticated in the country, given that they failed to reach third reading under the sixth and right national assembly, respectively.
Al-Makura said Nigeria’s inability to include nuclear energy as part of its energy mix has constrained the manufacturing sector and negatively affected the cost of doing business in Nigeria.
“Unless the energy mix in Nigeria is broadened to include nuclear energy, the persistent power outages being experienced by the country will not be easy to address”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate has also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to launch a vaccination programme to arrest the high rate of infant deaths caused by pneumonia, as well as make valuable Amoxicillin FT antibiotics to health centres around the country to treat the infection.
The call was made sequel to the consideration of a motion sponsored by Sen. Clifford Ordia (APC, Edo Central).
According to the lawmaker, a report by “Save the Children Foundation” revealed that Pneumonia claimed the lives of about 2,000 children in Nigeria under the age of five in 2018.
The lawmaker raised alarm that millions of children are at risk of not celebrating their fifth birthdays, as more than forty percent of one-year old children in Nigeria were unvaccinated and suffered from pneumonia systems as a result of lack of access to medical treatment.