By Patrick Ugeh in Abuja

The Director-General of International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Mr. Yukiya Amano, has given the thumbs-up to Nigeria’s nuclear energy programme, saying with what is on ground so far, the chances of any major nuclear accident are very remote.

He said while, like any human endeavour, the possibility could not be ruled out completely, he didn’t foresee any such accident happening in Nigeria.

Amano spoke on Tuesday when he inspected the nuclear energy facility operated by the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, at Sheda in Kwali Local Government Area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

There had been concerns that given the lackadaisical attitude of many Nigerians to the maintenance of public projects, keeping a nuclear power plant might endanger the lives of nearby communities, an apprehension that had raised protests in some communities identified as possible sites for nuclear facilities.

But dousing such anxiety, the head of the international atomic energy regulatory body said his agency was always monitoring nuclear power projects to ensure they are as safe as possible.