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The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Simon Mallam, was one of the many people killed in a gas explosion on Saturday, an official said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the explosion which occurred around 2.00 p.m. on Kachia road by Anguwn Boro in Kaduna.

Residents of the area said the explosion occurred at the gas refill centre, trapping many people in the inferno.

Many shops, mostly salons, plumbing materials, boutique and others were affected.

The Kaduna State Government had said on Saturday that it could not disclose the actual casualty until the conclusion of investigation.

Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna commissioner, who released Saturday’s statement, did not pick calls to his phone on Sunday.

However, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in a statement on Sunday said the explosion “claimed the lives of several people including the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Simon P. Mallam, and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.”

Mr Gbajabiamila said he sympathizes “with the state government, the survivors and the families of those that died during the explosion.”

Read Mr Gbajabiamila’s full statement below.

Gbajabiamila commiserates with Kaduna State Govt over gas explosion

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila on Sunday expressed shock and sadness over the gas explosion incident in Sabon Tasha, Kaduna.

The incident, which occurred at a gas shop, claimed the lives of several people including the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Simon P. Mallam, and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.

While expressing sadness over the incident, Gbajabiamila said: “It is with shock and sadness that I received the news of the gas explosion incident that claimed the lives of some Nigerians that included Prof Simon Mallam, the Chairman/CEO of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission.

“While I sympathize with the State government, the survivors and the families of those that died during the explosion, I also pray for the repose of the souls of those that lost their lives to the explosion.

“I also want to assure them that they are not alone in this trying times of theirs,” Gbajabiamila said.

Read Mr Mallam’s profile as stated on the energy commission’s website.

Simon P. Mallam was born in Kagoro, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State on June 12th 1955. He attended Government Secondary School Zaria where he obtained West African School Certificate in 1973. In 1978 and 1984 he graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria with B.Sc. in Physics and M.Sc Nuclear Physics respectively.

READ ALSO: Group urges Nigerian govt to reconsider nuclear energy plan after Russia accident

In 1984, Prof. Mallam proceeded to France to further his education. Between 1984 and 1985, he enrolled at the C.A.R.E.L. Royan, FRANCE, for an Intensive French Language Course and CERAVUM Montpellier, FRANCE Technical French Language Course. In 1987, he graduated from the University of Paris VI, France with DEA. Molecular Biophysics. He obtained his Doctorate in Physics in 1990 from the University de Grenoble 1, France.
Prof Mallam has held several positions as an academic and administrator. From 1979 to 1984, he was Graduate Assistant – Assistant Lecturer, Physics Department, ABU, Zaria. In 1984 he was made Research Fellow II and rose through the ranks to become a Professor in 2001. His specialized area of teaching over the years are in the fields of nuclear physics, health physics, instrumentation and dosimetry, solid state physics, application of radiation in the life science and radiation and radioactive waste safety and management. He has supervised and graduated numerous postgraduate thesis and dissertations.

Between 1999 to 2006 he was on several occasions Acting Director, Center for Energy Research and Training (CERT), Zaria. Other positions held by Prof. Mallam include amongst others; Head, Health Physics and Radiation Biophysics Section, CERT, ABU, Zaria (October 1995-Feb. 1996, October 1997-Jan 1998, April 1999 – Nov. 2006), Chairman, Radiation Protection Committee, and Chief Radiation Protection Officer ABU, Zaria 1999-2006, and National Project Coordinator (Nigeria) AFRA/IAEA Project on Radioactive Waste Management (Oct. 1996-date).

A Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Physics (2007) he has carried out researches in several areas and published numerous articles and journals. His researches are in the fields of Radiation and Nuclear Techniques in Biophysics, Medical Physics, Environment and Radiation Effects and Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Radioactive Waste Management. He has served in many Technical Advisory Committees both at the University, National and international levels. He has been the national coordinator of efforts at entrenching a radioactive waste management regime in the country.

Prof. Mallam is currently the Chairman of Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). He is married with children.

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