Plans by the Federal Government to establish a nuclear power plant at Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has been rejected by the Akwa Ibom Leaders’ Caucus.
Briefing newsmen in Uyo, the state capital at the weekend, Senator Anietie Okon, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, described the proposal as a “monumental disaster-in-waiting” for the people of the state.
Okon explained that the plan to build the power plant did not conform to international standards guiding the implementation of civil nuclear programs across the globe.
He warned that the plant will put several communities in the state and the lives of millions of people at risk in a country like Nigeria, which has a poor track record in the management of power infrastructure.
The group also faulted the Federal Government’s insistence on going ahead with the project when alternative sources of energy available to the country have not been fully tapped or exhausted.
Okon said: “Our opposition to the location of the plant in our state is not borne out of ignorance of the benefits of the project, but more because of the peculiar experiences in our country and the disastrous consequences that failure of nuclear plants have brought to even more discerning climes.
“We ask ourselves what the fascination is with the Nuclear Power Plant project and what the intentions of the promoters are, precisely. In each question category, the answers that popped up did not add up on the scale of altruism.
“These questions are asked bearing in mind that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had warned that Nigeria does not possess the right competences to handle nuclear issues. Technical Impact Assessment at the international level also indicated that nuclear plant is not suitable for Nigeria for now for very obvious reasons”.