By Victoria Ojeme
Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Nikolay Udovichenko has said that the development of nuclear technologies would strengthen Nigeria’s position as one of the leading Economies of the African Continent.
Nigeria and Russia, in 2016, signed an agreement for the construction of a multifunctional nuclear centre in Nigeria“We are confident that the development of these nuclear technologies would strengthen Nigeria’s position as one of the leading economies of the African continent,” the envoy told journalists in Abuja at a roundtable on the bilateral engagements between both countries in 2017
.“We understand that the project is of a large scale and of strategic importance. It would bring about thousands of new jobs; it has accumulated effect with synergy with other space development.
“We see that this project would lead to development of infrastructure, to new levels of education, new skills and generation of specialists, so it is very important”, he said
.Udovinchenko disclosed that Nigeria and Russia’s partnership on development of nuclear technologies started in 2009 when the two countries reached agreement on cooperation and establishment of the technology in Nigeria.
“This year we signed an intergovernmental agreement on design, construction, operation and the commissioning of a research centre, housing a multipurpose nuclear research reactor.
“Also in October, we signed another agreement to realize the general intergovernmental agreement to implement our plans to construct nuclear power plant and nuclear research centre.
“We also signed the roadmap on how to do it. We have fixed terms and we have fixed date, the roadmap includes feasibility studies, work capacity, equipment list by which we could ensure the nuclear centre is equipped with some technologies”, he added.
The envoy therefore hailed the “smooth” implementation of the nuclear technology agreement.Acording to him, Russia is very pleased with Nigeria’s commitment to improve the economy as evident in the diversification from oil as the main revenue earner.
He also commended Nigeria’s latest effort at resuscitating the moribund Ajaokuta steel industry and advised the government to involve the Russian firm that initially built the company.