Russiaâ€™s state-owned atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, has described nuclear energy as a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to Nigeriaâ€™s perennial electricity supply shortfall.
As part of the efforts to diversify Nigeriaâ€™s energy mix, the federal government had signed an agreement with Rosatom for the construction of a nuclear power plant and research centre in Nigeria.
Other leading African countries, including Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, are currently embracing the prospects of nuclear energy as a solution to their energy shortfalls with Rosatom, which is a global leader in nuclear power plant services.
Rosatomâ€™s Vice President for sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov, said in a statement that electricity generated from nuclear energy has a bright future in Nigeriaâ€™s energy mix.
He argued that Nigeriaâ€™s current overdependence on hydro and thermal power plants cannot meet the countryâ€™s growing electricity demand and forecasts from households and businesses.
â€œNigeriaâ€™s annual energy demand is on a steady rise. Unfortunately electric energy supply generally is unable to meet this rapidly growing pace,â€ he said.
He also pointed out that Nigeriaâ€™s expanding industrial sector, rapid urbanisation rate of, growth of the middleclass and incomes, coupled with overall annual population growth, are major drivers of the nationâ€™s increasing electricity demand.
â€œIn order for Nigeria to achieve a balanced energy mix, the country should consider all available sustainable sources of energy. Nuclear, solar, wind and hydro power complement and reinforce one another â€“ to form a green square. These, will eventually, become the standard for the worldâ€™s future carbon-free energy mix,â€ the statement added.
He also stated that a sustainable energy mix with the inclusion of nuclear energy would contribute in no small way to Nigeriaâ€™s economy, thus making local businesses competitive and attractive on the global market.
According to him, electricity generated from nuclear energy is more reliable than other sources of renewable and sustainable energy.
He added that solar and wind energy are dependent upon weather conditions, while nuclear power plants are free of such constraints, adding that they can run without disruption regardless of the climatic conditions under which they are operating.
Rosatom and Nigeria had in October 2017 signed agreements for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant and research centre.
The deals were the latest signed by Russiaâ€™s state nuclear agency as it sought to expand in sub-Saharan Africa beyond a planned bid to build nuclear power plants in South Africa.
â€œThe development of nuclear technologies will allow Nigeria to strengthen its position as one of the leading countries of the African continent,â€ Rosatomâ€™s vice president for overseas marketing and business development, Anton Moskvin, said in a statement.
Nigeria first signed a broad nuclear cooperation agreement with Rosatom in 2009.