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Just In : Senate moves to legalise 46-year old Atomic Energy Commission

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Just In : Senate moves to legalise 46-year old Atomic Energy Commission

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The Senate has begun moves to give legal backing to the 46-year-old Atomic Energy Commission in line with realities of global dynamics.

This came during a Public Hearing on two Bill’s yesterday in Abuja organised by the Senator Uche Ekwunife, PDP, Anambra Central led Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

The bills are: “Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) Act (Repeal and Reenactment) Bill 2022 and Nigerian Content in Programmes, Contracts, Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (Establishment) Bill, 2023”.

The NAEC bill was sponsored by Sen. Emmanuel Orker-jev. PDP-Benue while the Nigerian Content in Programmes, Contracts, Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation Bill was sponsored by Senator Sani Musa, APC, Niger East.

In her welcome b the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission Act (repeal and reenactment) was crucial to the development of the science and technology sector, said that the act was enacted 46 years ago in 1976 adding that since then, there were no legislative steps taken to improve the commission in line with realities of global dynamics.

Ekwunife said “This Bill therefore seeks to repeal the Atomic Energy Commission Act (CAP.N91) Laws of the Federation to streamline its provisions.

“The Bill will make the commission cater for robust implementation of National Nuclear Programme in line with acceptable international standards in accordance with Nigeria’s obligation under relevant international legal instruments.”

The Senator who explained that the repeal of the act was not in any way intended for negative use of nuclear power such as armament, but mainly for peaceful purpose in area of nuclear power, medical diagnoses and others, said, “The repeal also intends to make the commission develop the ways and technical machinery to effectively explore, exploit and harness atomic energy for peaceful applications and for sustainable national development.”

On the Nigerian Content in Programmes, Contracts, Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation Bill, Ekwunife she said that it aimed at harnessing domestic talents and the development of indigenous capacity in science and technology.

Also speaking, Chairman, NAEC, Prof. Yusuf Ahmed who noted that the decision to embark on a nuclear programme in Nigeria represented a long term commitment to safety, however, said that the lack of requisite legal framework was a challenge that had greatly slowed the activities of the commission to be able to harness the potential of atomic energy.

Ahmed urged the Senate to amend Section 2 of the NAEC bill which deals with the leadership structure of the commission.

Vanguard

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