The Start Of The First Nigerian Nuclear Power Plant

Aziz Shittu
February 19, 2015

Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2015


Nigeria being the leading country in oil production in Africa and also being the 10th leading country in the world the Nigerian President decided the country need to adopt nuclear energy. [1] The reason for the need to adopt nuclear energy is due to the fact the current energy industry has failed energy consumers of Nigeria for years now due to lack of management and misuse of the provided resources. [1] The talk of nuclear growth has been occurring in Nigeria since the 1970s but not until the last decade has the talks become increasing serious where movement and progress have been made. [1] Nigeria being one of the lowest electricity generation in the world and the constant problem with energy failures in the country called for the Nigerian president to decide that the country will develop a nuclear energy industry. [1] The consensus about the development of nuclear energy by the Nigerian government that, "nuclear power has four specific attractions for the Nigerian government. First, nuclear power would provide base-load generation at relatively stable prices, avoiding the inherent price fluctuations of oil products. Second, a reduction in the domestic demand for petroleum would increase foreign exchange earnings from the oil industry. Third, the dependence of a large share of generating capacity on natural gas from the Niger Delta has left Nigeria's energy stability at the mercy of militants in the region... Finally, if a long-term supply of domestic uranium could be secured, nuclear power would contribute to national energy self-sufficiency by reducing Nigeria's reliance on fossil fuels and water resources emanating from neighbouring states." [1]

Current Progress On Planned Nuclear Plant

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has three certain phases a nuclear program must go through for the development of nuclear power program. [1] The three phases are considerations, preparation for the infrastructure and construction of the nuclear power plant and finally activities to implement the first power plant and currently the IAEA believes Nigeria is on phase two of the development of the nuclear power plant which is preparatory work towards the building of the infrastructure of the nuclear power plant. [1]. Yet there is considerable amount of work that the Nigerian government must still go through before construction of the nuclear plant. [1]


Although nuclear energy seems to be the answer to the energy failures Nigeria currently suffers from critics believe that the country will not be able to handle it properly and inefficiently. There has been outrage in Nigeria about the corruption of the Nigerian government and leaves man citizens of Nigerian concerned because of prior incidents involving fuel. [2] Nigeria has gone through political instability over the last ten years which also raises concerns about the development of nuclear energy. [1] Tracking this political instability will be key in the success or failure of developing this nuclear power plant.

© Aziz Shittu. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] N. Lowbeer-Lewis, "Nigeria and Nuclear Energy: Plans and Prospects," [Ontario] Centre For International Governance Innovation, Nuclear Futures Paper No. 11, January 2010.

[2] S. Busari, "What Is Behind Nigeria Fuel Protests?" CNN, 13 Jan 12.