LG boss, monarch clash over siting of nuclear plant in Akwa Ibom - |Ads4naira Blog|

LG boss, monarch clash over siting of nuclear plant in Akwa Ibom

Chairman of Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Etetim Onuk, and a clan head in his council area, Ubong Okokon on Wednesday clashed over the siting of a nuclear plant in the area

Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) officials had come to Uyo to create awareness and enlightenment campaign on nuclear energy power project proposed for Oku Iboku community in Itu council, but Onuk, toeing the line of most speakers from Akwa Ibom State, had vehemently opposed the siting of the project in his local government area.

He said, though it was gratifying that Itu was remembered in the scheme of things, it was equally disheartening to note that the nuclear plant proposed to be built in Itu council was not without grave dangers to the residents.

“Without sounding immodest, let me state emphatically that from the conception of this idea to site a nuclear plant in some parts of Itu council, the elders, stakeholders, traditional ruler and the political class had risen in unison to oppose it.

“As we all know, Akwa Ibom State is a major oil and gas producing community, as such, the Federal Government should be thinking of establishing refineries and gas turbines, instead of introducing anti-people projects,” Onuk said.

But, the royal father urged the Federal Government to bring the plant because “if we don’t take a risk now, others would leave us behind.”

Ubong, who had the support of some selected youths from the area, told the NAEC officials that the community would buy into the project because of the expected benefits it would bring to them.

Nigeria Nuclear Power Project Manager, Matthew Agu, said there were numerous benefits of nuclear power plant in a locality.

Agu said nuclear energy was friendly, safe and cheaper than thermal and solar, stressing that nuclear energy was quite environmental-friendly.

“The Nuclear Power Energy industry plays an important role in the social economic growth of the country.

“This ranges from job creation, provision of basic amenities to generation of substantial domestic economic value in electricity sales and revenue.

“A recent analysis has found that nuclear power plants create some of the largest economic benefits compared to other electric generating technologies due to their size and number of workers needed for the operation of the plants.

“Operation of nuclear plant requires 800 to 1,200 direct permanent jobs per reactor,” Agu said.

He explained that the challenge confronting the establishment of nuclear plant in spite of the numerous benefits was people acceptance.

The project manager urged the Oku Iboku  and Akwa Ibom people to accept the proposed plant in their community as it would improve on their living standard.

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