Business News of 2013-03-03

Gov’t to ensure financial autonomy of GAEC

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, has said the government will work to ensure that the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) becomes financially autonomous.

According to him, the vision of the government was to ensure that in the next two years GAEC would not rely on the consolidated fund but its own internally generated funds.

That, he said, the commission could do with the commercialisation of its research to enable it to generate the needed funds to become independent, adding that as long as GAEC depended on the government, the government would continue to make the rules for it.

Dr Oteng-Adjei said this when he toured GAEC following his assumption of office as the sector minister. The places he toured included the Reactor Centre, the laboratories, the Radiation Protection Institute, the clinic and the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences.

Dr Oteng-Adjei said one of his aims was to sustain the science, technology and innovation sector to enable it to play the role expected of it and charged the management of GAEC to collate all the research works that had been done but from which it had not benefited financially.

Dr. Oteng-Adjei, who later addressed the faculty members of the Graduate School of Nuclear Sciences, said GAEC needed to be rewarded financially for those research works not paid for.

Earlier, the Deputy Director General of GAEC, Dr Innocent J.K. Aboh, in a presentation, had outlined the challenges of the commission as land encroachment, funding for training, vehicles for field work and inter-ministerial relations and responsibilities.

“GAEC has contributed to the socio-economic development of Ghana through its activities. Through partnership with international organisations, GAEC has benefited a lot in terms of equipment, human resource development and experts which have contributed to the growth of its activities,” he said.

More, he said, could be achieved if the commission was well resourced to play its role in national development, especially in the areas of energy, water, agriculture, health, education and training, industry and environment.

The functions of the GAEC are to advise the government on nuclear radiation and radioactive waste management, nuclear energy, science and technology, establish research institutes, commercialization of research and development, as well as supervise and secure the safety and health of radiation workers and the environment.

The GAEC is a public service organisation applying nuclear and allied technologies in research and development, training and education, regulatory and technical services.

It was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 204 of 1963.