Guard against sabotage, Reps urge nuclear research agencies’ staff


The House of Representatives Committee on Renewable Energy, has called on personnel and nuclear scientists managing Nigeria’s nuclear research centres to make efforts at avoiding any act of sabotage which could lead to adverse incident that would jeopardize the security of Nigeria.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, made the appeal that they show understaing in spite of their grouses over lingering non payment of the approved hazard and high-risk allowance due to them, assuring that the parliament is working towards ensuring that the Budget Office of the Federation  “grant the two Centres of Excellence Financial Autonomy, by providing them with separate budget lines for Effective and Efficient discharge of their mandate”.

Speaking on Thursday in Abuja, when representatives of the two Centres met with the Committee on Renewable Energy, at the National Assembly, in continuation of the investigation into why the hazard and high-risk allowances, which was approved for the scientists in the two centres were withheld by the Budget Office, but ironically, allegedly, paid to civil servants in the employ of Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Abuja.

The two Centres in question are the Centre for Energy Research and Training, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Centre for Energy Research and Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife. 

While the Centre in Zaria, Kaduna state, hosts the nation’s only nuclear reactor, the Centre in Ile-Ife hosts nuclear Tandem Accelerator in addition to nuclear waste and other dreaded sources of radiation that must be handled with care.

The management of the two high-risk centres had raised concerns over the impact of the non-payment of the deserved allowances to the morale of scientists at the two centres, who faced daily risks in managing the nation’s nuclear facilities, through a complaint letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abass Tajudeen, in January, 2024.

They also raised concerns over the danger of a possible sabotage or avoidable nuclear accident as a result of the disillusionment of staff at the two centres over poor working conditions and lack of institutional support for their programmes, following which the Speaker directed the Committee on Renewable Energy to look into the issues.

Ogene, while appealing to them for calm, informed about the efforts of the House to bring a lasting resolution to the identified challenges.