As part of efforts to be prepared for any emergency that might arise from Nigerians push for alternative source of energy and the present inroad in the development of Nuclear power Programme, (NPP), the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) organized a workshop aimed at validating the NPP emergency plan in the country.
The workshop which was held in Kaduna state recently, was aimed at activating the existing plan and articulating the role of other stakeholders in the proper management of any eventuality that might arise from Nigeria’s pursuit of nuclear programme was organized by the agency in conjunction with the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) and Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC).
Addressing the participants, Director-General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi said, “I must say that the workshop theme: National Workshop on the Validation of the National Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Plan 2014 is apt, considering our current and conscious efforts to obtain stable and uninterrupted power supply for the citizenry.”
He noted that “The complimentary roles on ministries, departments and agencies such as the NNRA, NAEC and other stakeholders in preparing for emergency associated with NPP is therefore critical to the realization of our objective of validating the preparedness plan as the nation is not obvious of the danger associated with NPP.”
The Director-General, who was represented by the Director of Planning Research and Forecasting, Dr. Zannah Mohammed, further noted that “I am particularly delighted with the thrust of the workshop which is to validate the National Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Plan (NNREP), as the nation moves towards achieving milestone II in the process of developing a Nuclear power Programme, (NPP).”
“The meeting is timely and appropriate, bearing in mind that NEMA has been collaborating with your organizations long before now. Also we should reflect the fact that the country is presently faced with dearth of power and coupled with the fact that globally the world is moving towards using more environmentally friendly sources of generating electricity for sustainable development.”
“My organization NEMA has noted with concern that conventional and technological emergencies often times pose a great danger to other jurisdictions, hence its response sometimes is multi-jurisdictional and predicated on synergies among various sectors”.
He therefore “enjoined the gathering to spell out their various organizational roles for integration into the plan that would ensure that we readily respond to disasters in our NPP whenever it occurs in a very collaborative and decisive manner”.
On his part, Professor Simon Mallam of NNRA said that the work of the workshop is not only to validate the emergency plan, but also rehearse it and work on it, adding that precedents has shown that Nigerians can achieve anything if the necessary synergy is employed.
He further stated that the Ebola episode where other countries are now copying Nigerians model is a case in point, insisting that once there is a collaborative effort from all stakeholders any problem in the country will be surmounted.