By SundiataPOST, Abuja The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) has urged operators of radioactive facilities and users of radiation materials in the South East zone to support initiatives to regulate the industry.
The NNRA coordinator in the zone, Mr Adamu Abdul, made the appeal in Umuahia on Thursday during a one-day workshop for stakeholders in Abia.
Abdul said there was a need for collaboration among the stakeholders to protect users of ionising radiation, including radiation workers, patients or members of the public.
He said the authority relied on the ministries of health in the zone for the necessary support and collaboration, adding that plans were underway to open its state offices.
The coordinator explained that the zonal office of the authority embarked on a sensitisation of the stakeholders in the area to solicit their cooperation to bring ionising radiation users under regulatory control.
Abdul said that at the end of the sensitisation, the organisation would commence the pre-authorisation of hospitals and all the users of ionising radiation in the zone with a view to regulating their activities.
‘’At the end of the sensitisation, we shall embark on a pilot survey for inventory to ascertain the number of radio-active machines in the area,’’ he said.
He appealed to owners of private and public health institutions in the zone to allow officials of the authority easy access to their facilities during the pilot survey.
‘’Denying our people access will be a breach of the law and this will force the authority to take legal action against such a licensee,’’ Abdul said.
The Director of Medical Services in Abia, Dr Ukah Orji, thanked the organisation for the workshop and pledged the support of the government to enlighten the people on its activities.
Orji said there were more than 20 private institutions that used X-ray equipment in the state, adding that the government needed to know the minimum standard required by the agency.
The chief executive of the state hospital management board, Dr Anele Agu, who represented the Commissioner for Health, Dr Okechukwu Ogah, described the job of the agency as daunting and challenging.