Federal Republic of Nigeria
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank President Barack OBAMA and the United States of America for the invitation to the 4th Nuclear Security Summit holding in Washington DC, from 31 March to 1 April 2016. Let me further pay special tribute to you Mr. President for your pace setting initiative and drive that have brought this process to this level. Nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international security and preventing nuclear terrorism and all forms of terrorism around the globe is of concern to all of us.
As we begin the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, I wish to reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to the global fight against the threat of nuclear terrorism and other forms of terrorism in all their manifestations, and our support to multilateral efforts to advance a common approach and commitment to nuclear security at the highest level. Nigeria accords high priority to all global efforts towards ending the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including nuclear weapons. To this end, Nigeria has since the last Summit in Seoul strengthened the legal framework for fighting terrorism through the adoption in 2013 of an amendment to its Terrorism (Prevention) Act, ensuring the implementation of more robust counter-terrorism measures in the country.
In this regard, Nigeria remains committed to continue demonstrating strong support for the global nuclear security architecture. Nigeria have ratified the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM/A); and the International Convention for the Suppressions of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT); and is engaged in a process, together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), relating to the conversion of its miniature neutron source reactor (NIRR-1)from the use of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU), keeping in mind that minimizing the use of HEU remains an important goal of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). Nigeria is committed to the completeness of that process as soon as technically feasible.
Since the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit, Nigeria have taken a number of steps necessary for strengthening nuclear security architecture by building up its nuclear and other radioactive material security. Nigeria have developed and commenced comprehensive review and updating of the existing nuclear security regulations as well as drafting of new ones to ensure the safety and security of nuclear materials and other radioactive sources.
The Nigerian Safe Transport of Radioactive Materials Regulations; Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources Regulations; System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material; and the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities; are at various stages of completion of review and updating. With the changing nature of global and national threats, Nigeria in conjunction with relevant stakeholders is currently reviewing the Design Basis Threat (DBT) developed in 2012. This is aimed at guiding holders of nuclear and radiological materials on the appropriate physical protection systems to be put in place.
In the area of performance of Oversight, Nigeria undertakes regular security inspections of facilities to ensure that materials are secured. The inspections are regular and routine in nature and the inspectors are benefitting from requisite training. To this end, Nigeria has established a Nuclear Security Support Centre which is aimed at enhancing human capacity development in the area of nuclear security. The Centre continues to actively interact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other relevant international organizations to develop and undertake training programmes for stakeholder organizations in 2016 and beyond. The Centre is intended to serve Nigeria and sub-Sahara Africa.
At the same time, Nigeria has developed a programme for search and secure of orphan and legacy radioactive sources. The programme has been established with the ultimate aim of identifying, securing and recovering vulnerable orphan and legacy radioactive sources in the country and to ensure that they are secured to prevent unauthorized access by terrorists and criminals. The Search and Secure programme is a yearly exercise. The latest exercise was conducted in November/December 2015 in three geopolitical zones of Nigeria, and efforts are on-going to acquire more equipment and expertise to ensure efficiency and sustainability of the programme.
The survey of Depleted Uranium (DU) which commenced in 2011 is an on ongoing programme with the latest exercise conducted in November/December, 2015. Nigeria has compiled and submitted earlier reports to the IAEA. The programme is continuing and comprehensive reports will be forwarded to the IAEA accordingly. Nigeria conducts regular inspection of the 234 legacy sources at Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited to guarantee their security pending their transfer to a temporary Radioactive Waste Management Facility, prior to the efforts in a more definitive manner to repatriate them to their country of origin. At the same time, regular inspection is conducted on the disused radioactive sources located at the Temporary Waste Management Facility. Efforts are also being made for their final repatriation to their countries of origin.
Nigeria undertakes regular inspection of NIRR-1 and supports IAEA safeguard inspection of the facility. Nigeria conducts various training and retraining programmes for its Frontline Officers from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Police Force, State Security Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Fire Service, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Nigeria Ports Authority and the Defence Headquarters of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Frontline Officers are also nominated to attend IAEA organized training courses on Illicit trafficking/border monitoring, nuclear security, physical protection of nuclear and radiological facilities to make them respond to unauthorized acts involving nuclear and other radioactive materials.
Nigeria installed its first Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos in 2008 and put into operation in April 2009. The RPM was donated by the IAEA and meant to prevent accidental or undeclared import and export of radioactive sources as well as checking illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. Three more RPMs have since been procured and discussions are on-going with the manufacturer for the purpose of installing them at strategic ports of entry into the country. A specific airport is designated for import and export of radioactive materials. The Installation of the three portal monitors shall be completed before the end of 2016. Effort is being made to cover all points of entry into the Country. The NSSC shall give training of frontline officers a priority.
To enhance Nuclear Security, Nigeria has reinforced its cooperation with the IAEA; United States Department of State’s Partnership for Nuclear Security (PNS); and the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS); to mention a few. Nigeria actively participated in the WINS professional Certification programmes.
Nigeria is collaborating with Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the United States of America to implement a Human Reliability Programme (HRP) for the Nigerian nuclear industry. A pilot HRP programme is being developed at the Centre for Energy Research and Training, ABU Zaria, and is being facilitated by the ORNL with support from Partnership for Nuclear Security (PNS). The programme is expected to be replicated at other high risk nuclear and radiological facilities in the country.
In addition, Nigeria has signed an agreement of cooperation with the United States Department of Energy (US-DOE) Office of Radiological Security (ORS). The objectives of this cooperation are: to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and other radioactive material located at civilian sites; remove and dispose excess nuclear and other radiological materials; and protect nuclear and other radiological materials from theft or sabotage. The cooperation included Physical Security upgrades of some high risk radiological facilities. Nigeria intends to strengthen its partnerships with relevant international organizations to promote capacity building, particularly in the development of the Nigerian Nuclear Security Support Centre, Physical Security Upgrades and HRP Implementation.
Thank you very much.