The Chairman and Chief Executive of Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Dr. Erepamo Osaisai, yesterday disclosed that Nigeria would require N90 trillion ($550 billion) to meet its goal of adequate electric power supply in the next 30 years.
He stated this in his presentation at NAEC’s nuclear programme facility at Sheda near Abuja during the visit of the Deputy Director-General , Technical Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Kwaku Aning, to Nigeria.
“In order to achieve the goals and objectives of the energy sector, Nigeria needs to increase its investment in energy infrastructure.
“Estimates using international benchmarks suggest $900 billion will be required over the next 30 years to achieve the specific sector targets $550 billion for power and $350 billion for oil and gas, which includes maintenance cost,” Osaisai said.
He noted that Nigeria had an abundance of most of the energy sources (fossil fuels, hydro, (nuclear is missing) solar, tidal, geothermal, and biomass) for power generation which, if properly harnessed, could meet the country’s energy needs and generate export revenue.
Currently, however, he lamented that, Nigeria’s per capita electricity generation was among the lowest in the world, limiting economic growth and productivity due to impact on practically all other sectors.
Osaisai pointed out that consideration for the NPP (nuclear power programme) and its successful implementation would address the important and critical elements of long-term national energy security and sustainable development.
According to him, “Implementing a new NPP is a daunting task which requires a serious national commitment over time and a properly structured national institutional framework for sustainability; the challenges, are serious but surmountable.”
He said about two-dozen physical projects for the emplacement of the requisite nuclear power infrastructure for education, training and research are at various stages of completion in the seven NAEC-supervised nuclear energy research centres.
Some preliminary site selection activities, he added, had been concluded and two suitable sites had emerged for which detailed evaluation and characterisation studies would be conducted on the approval of the federal government.
He stated that the sites were located in Geregu/Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State and Itu in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
“Successful completion of the key NPI elements of the programme will create the enabling environment for the participation of suitable international nuclear power plant vendors and partners to participate in the national NPP,” Osaisai said.
He added that: “Expectedly, the funding of these elements (NPI) of the programme shall remain the responsibility of the Federal Government as approved by the FEC in 2007; and the expected ownership/financing model for the actual construction of the nuclear power plants would entail a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT).
“These are part of the Commission’s discussions with our development partners.
“We finalised Safety and Regulatory Requirements for Licencing of Sites for Nuclear Power Plants.
“The National Policy on Radioactive Waste Management has been finalised by NAEC. Developed framework for the establishment of a National Nuclear Insurance Policy and Scheme to adequately address the civil liability component of the nuclear power industry in Conformity with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.
Noting that Nigeria had attained IAEA Milestone 1 of 3 since December 2009, Osaisai said NAEC was now strengthening cooperation with the IAEA and other development partners.
Responding, the IAEA chieftain commended the progress already made by NAEC but said much more needed to be done, especially so as to ensure safety since nuclear power involved a very complex technology.