- Nuclear Experts Challenges African Countries on Nuclear Power Development
Nuclear technology experts on Friday urged African countries to accelerate development of Nuclear Power Plants(NPP) and other technologies to reduce energy deficit and speed up development of the continent.
The experts made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Tomsk, Russia.
They said it was cheery, African countries were looking in the direction of nuclear power production, giving their various agreements with Russian atomic agency ROSATOM to construct NPP and nuclear research centers.
The experts said the growing acceptability and utilisation of nuclear technologies especially for electricity supply would ultimately help decrease electricity shortage in the continent.
According to them the utilisation of nuclear technology in electricity sector, health, aviation, and other sectors would further help accelerate development of the continent.
NAN recalls that Nigeria started developing its peaceful nuclear programme a decade ago and Russian atomic agency ROSATOM has been working with Nigeria for roughly half of this time.
A great deal has already been done in terms of the legal framework and educating specialists, both of which are part of the nuclear infrastructure development programme.
The two countries started their partnership in nuclear power development in 2009, by executing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful usage of nuclear technologies.
On Oct. 30, 2017, Russia and Nigeria again signed project development agreements on construction and operation of a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and a Research Centre housing a multi-purpose nuclear research reactor on the territory of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Zambia on the other hand is steadily advancing efforts at actualising its nuclear energy goals .
Zambia had also in 2017, signed an intergovernmental agreement with Russia via ROSATOM on the construction and operation of nuclear power center
Lately, African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have been embracing prospects of adopting nuclear power plant.
Recently, Egypt also signed a deal with ROSATOM for the construction of its maiden NPP with plans to inaugurate the first unit of the NPP in 2026.
South-Africa remained the only country in Africa with an operational NPP that produces the cheapest power in the country.
To this end, Head, Laboratory for Radioactive Substances and Technology,Tomsk Polytechnic University, Prof Vladimir Golovkov said:
“ I think that, now atomic energy is one of the main possibility of overcoming the distance in the absence of adequate electricity, with minimal effort.
“There is a possibility to create, not only grid atomic power plant but a small power plant to create energy that will be distributed all over Africa.
“And so the look of Africa in the direction of atomic energy is very promising.“
Golovkov said the use of nuclear energy would provide faster development of African continent, given the importance of electricity to development.
On fear for nuclear energy waste, Golovkov said :“You know that each technology not only has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. For example, some renewable technology leads to environment pollution and pollution of water etc.
“But atomic energy is free of danger of pollution, it is absolutely clean and clear from the point of view of environment pollution.
“Russia now has had great experience in exploiting of atomic power stations and using of atomic energy is not so dangerous, not so dangerous from the point of pollution, from the point of affecting people.
“So I think that usually atomic energy has great potential and the fear of using atomic energy is mainly in our minds than the reality. “
Dr Vera Verkhoturova, Director of masters’ programme, nuclear power engineering, and installations, Tomsk Polytechnic University said the number of students from Africa undertaking courses in nuclear technology engineering was on the increase yearly.
She said the students were choosing research courses in nuclear technology, ranging from nuclear safety security , non proliferation and research in reactor.
This, Verkhoturova said indicated that the demand for development of nuclear industry in Africa was very high, adding that the education of Africans on nuclear technology was increasing at a fast paste.
“Judging by high rate of students developing competence here in nuclear education, I can say that Africa is moving on faster and faster to this target of developing nuclear infrastructures in these countries.“
She said given the expensive nature of training nuclear engineers, the university was collaborating with industrial agencies like ROSATOM to help support development of its international nuclear engineering programmes.
“ROSATOM helps us to organise internships for international students, they help us provide the international students with scholarships which means that African students can start the programmes for free if they are qualified.
“Because nuclear education is very expensive in the world, together with ROSATOM we are also organising different short term programmes for already working staff of nuclear regulatory bodies of countries partnering with ROSATOM.
Verkhoturova, said about 20 African students had been registered at all levels of nuclear education in the university, adding that more students would enroll in the university’s nuclear engineering programme in the coming year.
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
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