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IAEA Assists Nigeria in Finalizing the Amended Draft of its Atomic Energy Bill


Nigerian flag. (Photo: jbdodane/Flickr)

In the last months, Nigeria with Agency’s assistance finalised the draft of its Atomic Energy Bill to make it more coherent with the country’s comprehensive nuclear legislation and with international nuclear law. The IAEA held a series of meetings with senior government officials from the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Federal Ministry of Justice and Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA).

“We have been working on updating our national nuclear legal framework for several years, and we are pleased to have final drafts of the amended bills addressing the development and regulatory aspects related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” said Yusuf Ahmed, Chairman of the NAEC. “We are very grateful for the IAEA’s drafting assistance in supporting the amendment of our legislation.”

The current legislative framework in Nigeria is contained primarily in the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission Act No. 46 of 1976, which established the NAEC for the development of atomic energy and all matters relating to the peaceful use of atomic energy and the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act No. 19 of 1995, which established the NNRA as the regulatory body. Nigeria is revising the existing legislation to establish a comprehensive legal framework for the development and regulation of the country’s planned nuclear power programme. A key focus of the bilateral legislative drafting assistance was to delineate between the responsibilities of the NAEC, NNRA and other authorities, and to avoid potential overlaps and inconsistencies between the two draft bills.

Camille Scotto de César, Legal Officer at the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs, who worked directly with the Nigerian delegation to finalize the draft Atomic Energy Bill of Nigeria said, “We understand the draft of the bill will be formally presented to the next parliamentary session in September 2022, and we look forward to a positive outcome.”

The meeting was implemented within the framework of the IAEA Legislative Assistance Programme under the Agency’s Technical Cooperation programme. Over the years, Nigeria has benefitted from various legislative assistance activities, including the training of officials at the annual IAEA Nuclear Law Institute.

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