Jonathan Promises To Continue Efforts To Harness Nuclear Energy
President Goodluck Jonathan Monday at the Hague in the Netherlands
reaffirmed Nigeria's full commitment to the global fight against the
threat of nuclear terrorism, but said that Nigeria, under his leadership
will continue to pursue efforts to harness nuclear energy and technology
for socio-economic development.
In his statement to the third global security summit which opened in the
city today, President Jonathan said that while Nigeria will continue to
support 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
“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 has 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.
“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.
“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 fulfilment 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.
“Furthermore, as part of the outcome of the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit
held in Seoul, South Korea in 2010, States Parties were urged on voluntary
basis, to embark on the process of converting their reactors from the use
of Highly Enriched Uranium to Lowly Enriched Uranium. Consequently,
Nigeria is working in collaboration with the United States of America and
China for the conversion of Nigeria's limited stock of Highly Enriched
Uranium used in its research reactor to Lowly Enriched Uranium,” President
Noting that one of the main objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit was
to reduce the amount of dangerous nuclear materials in the world by
preventing materials that can be used to produce nuclear weapons from
falling into the hands of terrorists and unauthorized non-state actors,
the President said that Nigeria supports the immediate commencement and
early conclusion of negotiations on a “non-discriminatory, multi-lateral
and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the
production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons”.
He commended the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon for
establishing a Group of Governmental Experts which will begin work in
Geneva next week on the proposal.
“Nigeria shares the view that fewer nuclear weapons translate into more
nuclear security while at the same time reducing the risk of
“But it is even more important that States as represented at this Summit
demonstrate the necessary political will to embark on the path towards the
ultimate goal of total and complete nuclear disarmament under strict and
effective international control,” President Jonathan concluded.
He thanked the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte for
hosting the summit and commended President Barack Obama who was present at
the opening ceremony “for his continued leadership of this important
Other world leaders participating in the summit include President Xi
Jinping of China, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, Chancellor
Angela Merkel of Germany, President Francois Hollande of France, Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, the President of South Korea, Ms. Park
Geun-hye and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.