The Russia-Nigeria nuclear power deal has finally been sealed by the two countries. The agreement which has taken years to analyse and finalize promises a massive turnaround in Nigeria’s energy sector.
Consequently, Nigeria is soon to be home of 4 nuclear power plants, courtesy of the Russian company, Rosatom Corporation. Representatives from the firm and the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission recently signed the deal.
Reports suggest that the plants will cost the sum of $20 billion.
A nuclear power plant is a facility in which a heat source (nuclear reactor) is used to generate steam which drives a turbine connected to an electric generator which then produces electricity.
The step has been welcomed by well meaning Nigerians in hopes that if all goes as panned, Nigeria will permanently bid farewell to the epileptic power supply which has stalled development and economic growth.
An IAEA 2014 report says there are 449 nuclear power reactors in operation operating in 31 countries.
According to Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, the Russian state-owned company Rosatom, will build the plants in the south and the central parts of Nigeria.
Rosatom has equally been in talks with Ghana and South Africa; with the latter proving unsuccessful earlier this year.
World bank records reveal that as much as 40% of Nigerians have no access to electricity. There is optimism that if the incumbent Buhari administration pulls off the energy project, Nigerians will have a new lease of life.
Already the feasibility studies for the project has commenced. It includes site screening, capacity, financing, and time frames of the projects. The deal is that the Russian firm will construct and operate the firm.
The Russian-Nigeria nuclear plant deal has lingered since 2009 under the administration of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Both nations in 2009 signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful usage of nuclear technologies. In 2015, Nigeria re-visited the deal with Rosatom.
Nigeria’s biggest challenges in power supply are management and an infrastructural deficit.
This greatly anticipated Russian-Nigeria nuclear plant deal will no doubt strengthen bilateral foreign relations between Nigeria and Russia.
Nigerians over the years have been benefiting from the scholarships in Russia.
Similarly, in 2016, the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria Nikolay Udovichenko, announced that Nigeria and Russia were set to sign a bilateral agreement that will see to the establishment of a Nigerian nuclear centre.
“Nuclear energy development is another area with good prospects for our two countries’ cooperation. This June, we expect to sign a bilateral agreement for the establishment of a multifunctional scientific centre in Nigeria.”
Russia has a representative office in Abuja and an embassy in Lagos. Nigeria likewise has an embassy in Moscow.
Just like Nigeria, Russia is known as an endowed nation with natural resources such as oil, natural gas, gold, amongst others. Over 80% of Russian exports are natural resources.
Russia is the 12th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the 6th largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).