The Federal government selection of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as a Centre of Excellence in nuclear technology in 1976
Subsequent enactment of decrees No. 46 (1976), No. 62 (1979)
Prior to the winding down of the activities of the Nuclear Science Programme Steering Committee (NSPSC) in 1982, approval was sort and obtained from the University Academic Planning Committee and the Senate for the establishment of the Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CENTECH). In 1982, the approval was sent to Ahmadu Bello University Governing Council for its approval and incorporation of CENTECH into the laws and statutes of the Ahmadu Bello University. The delay in obtaining approval from the Governing Council slowed down the take off of CENTECH. Other problems that slowed down the activities of CENTECH include among others the issue of irregular funding. This became a source of frustration to the new staff employed for the Nuclear Programme, the NSPSC and the University Administration.
The recommendations of the NSPSC to the Council of Ahmadu Bello University eventually received some blessing in 1986, when it approved the statutes establishing and renaming CENTECH as the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT). The Statue establishing CERT is called Statute 29 of the laws and statutes of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The contents of statute 29, which state the functions and objectives of the Centre for Energy Research and Training.
Appointment of Coordinator
The Council and Senate of Ahmadu Bello University formally established the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT) in September 1986 by approving the statute 29 of the Ahmadu Bello University law. At the same time a Coordinator in the person of Dr. S. B. Elegba was appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to oversee the activities of of the Centre. During this period the management of academic and research activities of the Centre were carried out through three Sections including Nuclear Science and Technology Section, Material Science and Development Section and Health Physics and Radiation and Biophysics Section.
Amendments therein, No. 32 (1988) and No. 19 (1989)
The Centre developed in so many ways during the tenorship of Dr S. B. Elegba as the Coordinator of the Centre and these developments were captured in the various Annual reports (Progress report, 1989) and any other documents such as the commissioning of the Centre’s permanent site and Commissioning of NIRR-1. It would be recalled that the initial landmark achievement of producing neutrons from an accelerator head of the Neutron Generator was made during his tenure as the Coordiantor of the Centre. Other landmark achievements made during this period include capacity building, acquisition of books and journals, utilization of X-ray Flourescence (XRF) technique for elemental analysis, Nuclear Activation Analysis (NAA) using the Neutron Generator and Isotopic Neutron Source.
Appointment of Dirctor
In 1991 a Director was appointed through upgrading of the then Coordinator, Professor Shams Elegba to the position of Director of the Centre.
First National Conference on Nuclear Methods
In addition, the Centre organized and hosted the First National Conference on Nuclear Methods, held in September 2 - 4, 1992. The conference was acknowledged by international experts who attended as a huge success. The Proceedings of that Conference titled Nuclear methods in National Development has continued to be a reference document for the local and international Scientific community particularly the IAEA.
Commissioning the Permanent Site
In 1993, the permanent site of the Centre located at Jama’a village adjacent to Area A, ABU staff Quarters was commissioned resulting in final movement of personnel and Research facilities. The Reactor Project was also initiated by signing trilateral agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), China Atomic Energy Board (CAEB) and Nigerian Government. Also construction works were started for the Research Reactor Building through the PTF intervention.
A New Decree
Decree No. 19 (1995) were the catalysts that gave impetus to the establishment of Nuclear Science Research Programme in Ahmadu Bello University.
The Nuclear science programme in ABU commenced with the inauguration of the Nuclear Science Programme Steering Committee (NSPSC) that initiated a lot of spade of works including awareness programme on Nuclear Science, recruitment of personnel for the Nuclear programme, training and retraining of personnel, development of infrastructures acquisition of pieces of equipment for the Nuclear Programme and development of policy guidelines that laid a solid foundation for the programme.