Hon Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals (Represented)
Hon Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (Represented)
Prof Christiana Mojisola Adeyeye – DG NAFDAC
Representatives of the Service Chiefs
Representative of the IGP
Representative of the DG DSS
Representative of the CG NSCDC
Engr Ghasara Sylvanus – President CEDAN
Mr Thomas Etuh – President FEPSAN
Alhaji Akeem Oladipupo – President CAN
Representative of the US Ambassador
Our Esteemed Resource Persons from within Nigeria and Abroad
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to Ladi Kwali Hall of the Sheraton Hotel and Towers for the opening ceremony of the National Chemical Security Training Conference 2018. I wish to express my profound gratitude to the Chemical Security Program (CSP) for the resolute commitment towards an improved security in the Nigerian Chemical Industry and for extending this hand of fellowship to the Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) towards the successful co – hosting of this very important capacity building program. It is beyond doubt that the misuse of sensitive chemical and precursor has profound negative impact on the nations. The carnage unleashed by terrorists all over the world leading to loss of lives and properties, provides cause for serious concern, which must be adequately tackled. This calls for a concerted approach and efforts by the citizenry and government.
- The Office of the National Security Adviser has over the years investigated series of Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) incidents, within the urban terrorism and insurgency theatre of operations and have been able to identify the prevalent types of explosives, accessories, fertilizers and precursor chemicals used in the preparation of the IEDs. IED attacks have become an integral part the Boko Haram Terrorist tactics. Over the years, nations faced with the threats and dual use of chemical substances and precursor for illicit and criminal activities, have evolved strategies to mitigate, pre-empt and respond to such threats. Similarly in Nigeria, we have also included counter IED initiatives in our National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST). The focus of this Strategy is to attack the criminal network of sourcing for the materials used in preparing the IEDs, including the various dual use chemicals, explosives/accessories and specific blends of fertilizers. Working with relevant stake holding Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) we have emplaced strategic measures to control the importation, transportation, storage and use of these sensitive substances, thereby taking them out of the reach of criminal elements. The MDAs are engaged as follows:
- National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) – For Chemical Control
- Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) – For Explosives and Accessories Control
- Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD)- For Fertilizer Control.
- In implementing these strategic measures, we have had series of stakeholders meeting with the regulating MDAs and the major actors in industry. Further to this, and as part of the Prepare Strand of the NACTEST, ONSA considers it a duty to the industry, as well as the regulatory MDAs, to improve their capacity as regards chemical security global best practices. It is in line with this obligation that ONSA, in collaboration with our international partners, is holding the first ever National Chemical Security Training Conference in Nigeria. The theme of the Conference, “Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria”, aptly captures the resolve of the Government towards achieving chemical security in Nigeria.
- Subject matter experts from ONSA, regulating MDAs, the private sector as well as our international partners will be making presentations as well as leading exercises and discussions during the Training Conference. The choice of resource persons from the academia, relevant industries and subject matter experts, from both within and outside the Country, is deliberate to ensure that the best practices regarding Chemical Security is shared among participants. In the course of the next five days we will be opportuned to listen to presentations from the Nigerian perspective on threats to the Nigerian Chemical Industry and strategic control of chemicals in Nigeria. There will be presentations on various aspects of transportation security, physical protection of chemical installations and chemical security vulnerability assessment by our foreign resource persons. Representatives from the Nigerian Industry will be making presentations international standards as it affects chemical security and opportunity for chemical exports in Nigeria. The academia will also share their thoughts on the employment of technology in enhancing security in the chemical sector. Round table discussions will be held to examine critical issues bordering on control of importation, distribution, storage and use of Chemicals in Nigeria. These discussions will be followed by table top exercises designed to expose the participants to various chemical security threat scenarios and required responses.
- The National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism is aimed at identifying early warning signs of violent extremism, preempt and prevent it from manifesting. One of such acts of violent extremism is the suicide-bombing phenomenon, a tactic beign exploited by the Boko Haram Terrorist especially in the North Eastern part of the Country. In response to this ugly phenomenon, we have extended our counter IED efforts beyond control of explosives and precursor materials to include the human aspect of the threat, which is the motivational factor. We have identified that most of these violent crimes, such as person borne IEDs, are perpetrated under the influence of drugs. In order to curtail the surge in drug related violent extremism and other violent crimes, we have included certain drugs often abused and their various precursors as chemicals of concerns. These drugs also require strict control measures for their importation, manufacture, distribution, storage and usage. In view of this, we have included presentations on “Influence of Drug Abuse and Threat of Chemical Terrorism” in this Conference. Likewise, we also have a presentation from the health sector on “the Importance of Employee Mental Health in the Chemical Industry”.
- In view of the highlighted programme of events, including the wide array of resource persons to be featured in this Training Conference, it is anticipated that the next five days will be very interesting and educative for everyone. I will, therefore, crave everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their chemical security capabilities. It is hoped that skills and knowledge gained here would be cascaded down to others that are not opportune to be here. I will want to use this opportunity to, most respectfully convey the appreciation of the NSA to the Heads of MDAs, Armed Forces and Security Agencies including the Presidents of CEDAN, FEPSAN and CAN for their presence at this Conference and efforts at ensuring chemical security in Nigeria.
- On a final note, on behalf of the National Security Adviser, I wish us all fruitful deliberations.