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Jonathan reiterates local stance on nuclear terror

25 March 2014, 07:48

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan has reaffirmed Nigeria's full commitment to the global fight against the threat of nuclear terrorism.

His spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the president in his statement to the third global security summit at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The head of state is quoted as saying said Nigeria would continue supporting all efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, the world must respect the right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy for development purposes.

"As a developing country, Nigeria needs to harness nuclear technology for socio-economic development. It is for this reason we subscribe to the view that international and regional cooperation efforts should be based on the principle of maintaining a balance between nuclear non-proliferation obligations and the inalienable right of States to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy for development purposes.

"While this is important, we would also like to draw attention to the need to maintain the highest standards of nuclear safety and security in establishing peaceful nuclear facilities,” the President said.

He told the gathering that in keeping with Nigeria's commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the peaceful use of nuclear technology, the Federal Government had submitted an executive bill to the National Assembly to accommodate the country's obligations under international treaties on nuclear safety and security.

“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, thus ensuring the implementation of more robust counter-terrorism measures in the country,” he said.

Jonathan added Nigeria’s ratification of some international treaties and conventions in the realm of nuclear safety, security and safeguards has necessitated the review of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority Act resulting in the recent decision of the Government to submit a new Bill to Parliament for consideration and passage into law in order to accommodate our obligations under these instruments.

He added that the instruments include the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and its amended version of 2005, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

“The intention of the bill is to ensure the fulfillment of Nigeria’s international and national Nuclear Safety, Security, Safeguards and radiation protection obligations, by domesticating the international treaties. The bill is presently awaiting passage by the National Assembly.”

– CAJ News

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