NSA tackles abuse of chemical substances by terrorists

Chika Eze, Abuja

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National Security Adviser , Babagana Monguno

The Nigerian Government says it has investigated series of Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) incidents, within the urban terrorism and insurgency theatre of operations, and has been able to identify the prevalent types of explosives, accessories, fertilizers and chemicals used in the preparation of the IEDs.

The National coordinator, Counter Terrorism Center, Office of the National Security Adviser, Rear Admiral Yaminu Musa, made this known at the National Chemical Security Conference in Abuja.

Rear Admiral Musa said that Nigeria has included counter IED initiatives in its National Counter Terrorism Strategy whose focus is to attack the source of  the materials used in preparing the IEDs.

“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,” he said.

The Director General of National Agency for Foods Drugs Administration and Control NAFDAC, Professor Christiana Adeyeye, on her part decries the porous nature of Nigeria’s borders which according to her makes it easy for illicit drugs and chemicals to come into the country.

She advocates that NAFDAC officials should be allowed to be stationed at the ports of entry to checkmate the activities of illicit drug merchants.

“The best practice is to have agency that is in control of drugs to be in the ports at the points of entry. As we speak, we have about thirty three containers of Tramadol that we intercepted after we were allowed in  but some exited the ports,” she said.

Fertilizers which are primarily meant for farming purposes are being misused by criminals.  This dangerous trend of chemical abuse is what the office of the national security adviser with other relevant stake holders is tackling to put a stop to.

Rear Admiral Abdul Adamu representing the Chief of Naval staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ekwe Ibas at the event, said that the security agencies have been contending with the threat posed by boko haram especially in the use of illicit chemical to unleash terror on innocent people.

“Security agencies have been contending with the grave consequences of the abuse of chemicals by the insurgent groups such as Boko Haram, While the armed forces of Nigeria are battling Boko Haram in their use of IEDs on civilian population and on the armed forces, considerable resources are also devoted to ensure that the supply routes of these chemicals are cut off,” he said.

The office of the national security adviser is encouraging cooperation among industry, law enforcement and regulatory agencies on chemical security, with a view to blocking the sources of such chemicals from entering the country illegally, and checkmating the illegal use of such substances by criminal.