BY LAIDE AKINBOADE
ABUJA-The Federal Government said yesterday that it was crucial for Nigeria to be well prepared for nuclear and radiological disasters, considering the experience of Tsunami-induced nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, in March.
Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, stated this at the national training course for the first responders to nuclear and radiology emergency, organized by National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The Minister, who was represented by Director of Drought and Desertification and Amelioration, Ministry of Environment, noted that nuclear and radiological accidents had been on the increase across the world.
According to her, coping with the spate of nuclear accidents will be an increasing challenge nationally, regionally and globally.
Hajiya Mailafia said: “Therefore the issue of capacity building, specialised training and institutional strengthening is crucial to be able to respond swiftly to accidents and emergencies relating to the use of these chemicals.
”Generally, we do not seem to be adequately prepared to respond to such emergency situations. Moreover, without standard procedures or common approach, actions can be haphazard resulting in confusion and mistrust amongst the public, interfering with recovery operations and possibly leading to severe socioeconomic and political consequences.
“Therefore, it is important that we understand that an effective and effecient response system must be holistic and should include infrastructural and functional components, emergency plans, procedures and internally consistent criteria.”