There are many applications of Nuclear Science and Technology that have great potentials for socio-economic development of Nigeria. For instance, in the quest for food security there is a need to stem losses in crop and animal production nuclear techniques have been found to have a great application in the control and eradication of pests as is being applied in Vom in Jos. Still on agriculture, irradiation of food products have been found the preserve agricultural products thereby reducing post-harvest losses. In Industry, nuclear techniques have had wide applications and impact especially in the oil and gas sub-sector for well-logging, fault detection, gauging and quality control etc. In health sector, various diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in the management of cancer are nuclear science in the country.
There are four broad areas where a Centre of Excellence like Centre for Energy Research and Development could assist the country in realizing the potentials and gains from nuclear technology. First, because it is situated in a University environment it is particularly relevant for capacity building for acquisition and application of nuclear technology. In this respect, the Centre staff have participated in teaching in relevant faculties in the University, and organized specialised courses for other bodies in industry and government like NAFDAC, Ministry of Health to mention a few. Second, the Centre as a research unit has a role in expanding the frontier of knowledge leading to innovation and discovery of new and better techniques for a variety of applications. This second role has met with limited success so far because of lack of up to date and modern research facilities which are very expensive. Third, the Centres as conceived is a unit for R & D, D, D and D (Research and Development, Demonstration, Dissemination and Diffusion) for energy development and technology. Hence it is very relevant for technology transfer first through adaptation of basic research results from laboratories to industry (diffusion) and through acquisition of relevant knowledge in the international literature for national development. Fourth, because of the highly specialized and expensive equipment available (some like the Tandem Accelerator is yet to be fully installed) the Centre can serve as a Regional or National Reference Laboratory. For example, when fully installed the 9 MV Tandem Accelerator in the Centre is the largest and one of two such machines in the Sub-Saharan region. Hence, the accelerator can serve as the Regional Reference Laboratory for West and Central Africa.