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FG sets up committee on nuclear electricity generation


ABUJA – The National Economic Management Team (EMT) on Thursday set up a committee to develop a framework for the proposed use of nuclear energy for electricity generation in the country.

The Director-General, Budget Office, Mr Bright Okogu, said this while addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the EMT meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Okogu was joined by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the immediate past Governor of Anambra, Mr Peter Obi, both members of the team.

He said that the committee, chaired by Okonjo-Iweala, was charged with examining issues such as financing, capacity building, and sensitisation to the use of nuclear energy.

“As you know very well, we use gas and also we depend on hydro-electricity. The purpose of the meeting today was to see how we can diversify our electricity generation base; maybe we include nuclear energy down the road.

“We have the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, which is leading this. The whole idea is to see how they are preparing so that a few years down the road we will be in a position to commence the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity.

“As part of the outcome of this meeting, the vice president set up a committee chaired by the coordinating minister of the economy to develop a framework.

“The committee will also look at the financing and other issues on how we can develop this so that it becomes operational at some point from the beginning.

“We are going to develop the business model that will ultimately bring out a bankable project that people can begin to look at,’’ he said.

Okogu said that the Federal Government was already in the process of talking to the international community about the proposed nuclear energy project.

Earlier, Okonjo-Iweala said that the meeting also focused on measures to decongest the country’s sea ports, to reduce the clearing time of goods.

She listed the measures as construction of access roads to the ports, removal of tankers that caused congestion, construction of trailer parks and dredging of other ports nationwide.

“We know there is a lot of congestion because of tankers; so we looked at how we can finish the access roads for easy movement of goods from the ports.

“We also looked at the need for the Harbour and Ports Bill to be treated very quickly and sent to the National Assembly.”

On his part, Obi said that government had been working on the ports with considerable improvements made in some areas that had to do with customs.

“We agreed that something needs to be done to improve on the clearing time which will impact on the cost of goods to the people.

“We also looked at a new regulator to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Shippers Council to monitore what is happening at the ports,” he said. (NAN)

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