Nigeria will achieve its nuclear energy goal and further improve its electricity supply by 2025, Rosatom’s Chief Executive Officer, Central and Southern Africa, Dmitry Shornikov, has said.
Rosatom is a Russian-based energy firm with investments in production of nuclear energy in the country and other parts of the world.
He said Nigeria has begun its energy diversification programme by generating electricity from off-grid and on-grid sources. Shornikov added that the country struck a deal with Rosatom to have its nuclear energy plant in Kogi and Akwa Ibom states.
In a statement made available to The Nation, Shornikov said the firm had a meeting with stakeholders in the Nigerian electricity sector in Russia some months ago, adding that efforts were ongoing to produce nuclear energy in Nigeria.
He said nuclear would help Nigeria to bridge the power gap and improve its supply.
Citing a World Bank report, Shornikov said Nigeria has the largest access to power deficit in sub-Saharan Africa and the second largest in the world, after India. The national electrification rate is 55 per cent and the rural electrification rate is only 39 per cent.
He said: “Nigeria is planning to have power plants in some states in the federation. This would help the country to deal with its energy deficit. The Nigerian government in 2007 approved a technical framework for a nuclear power programme seeking the support of the IAEA to develop plans for up to 4000megawatts (Mw) of nuclear capacity by 2025.’’
He said South Africa has built its nuclear energy plant, adding that Nigeria would soon join the former apartheid nation to have nuclear energy.
He added that Kenya, Zambia Uganda and Ghana have shown interest in producing nuclear power to improve electricity generation.
“In the event that Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia build plants to produce nuclear energy, in addition to South Africa, which already has its own plant, the march towards making Africa a hub for nuclear energy is on course,” he added.
South Africa, Dhornikov said, has an operational commercial nuclear power plant (NPP), while Egypt is making a record-breaking deal with the Russian nuclear corporation, Rosatom, for the construction of its maiden nuclear power plant in El Dabaa. The first unit of the NPP is set to be inaugurated in 2026.
It would be recalled that the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatude Fashola, has advocated the inclusion of nuclear energy in Nigeria’s energy plans.
He said at a forum in Abuja that it was imperative for Nigeria to emphasise the gains and safety of nuclear energy as obtained in other advanced nations, stressing that the development would help Nigeria to achieve a sustainable economic programme.
SOURCE: THE NATION