By Bukola Olasanmi
The Federal Government has put in place, strategic measures to block Boko Haram terrorists’ access to substances used for making explosive devices (IEDs).
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at commencement of the National Chemical Security Training Conference, with the theme “Towards a Secured Importation, Distribution, Storage and Use of Chemicals in Nigeria.”
Monguno, who was represented by Yamin Ehinnomen Musa, said IED attacks had become an integral part of the Boko Haram terrorist tactics.
He said his office had investigated series of explosive devices (IEDs) incidents by terrorists and had been able to identify the prevalent types of explosives, accessories, fertilisers and precursor chemicals used in the preparation of the IEDs.
Monguno said his office, in collaboration with relevant ministries, departments and agencies, had put in place, strategic measures to control the importation, transportation, storage and use of these sensitive substances, “thereby taking them out of the reach of criminal elements.”
He said the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control had been engaged for chemical control; the Ministries of Mines and Steel Development, explosives and accessories control; and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, fertiliser control.
We have included counter IED initiatives in our National Counter Terrorism Strategy. The focus of this strategy is to attack the criminal networks of sourcing for the materials used in preparing the IEDs including the various dual use chemicals, explosives/accessories and specific blends of fertilisers,” he said.
The NSA stressed the need for regulatory agencies to improve their capacity as regards chemical security global best practices. He said the conference, the first of its kind, was being held in partnership with international partners to affirm the Federal Government’s resolve to achieve chemical security Nigeria.
He said in response to suicidebombing by Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast, his office had extended its counter IED efforts towards the control of explosives and precursor materials to include the human aspect of the threat. The NSA said it had been discovered that most of the violent crimes, including suicide-bombing, were perpetrated under the influence of drugs.
He said in order to curtail the surge in drug-related violent extremism and other crimes, his office had included certain drugs often abused and their various precursors as chemicals of concerns.
According to him, those drugs also require strict control measures for their importation, manufacture, distribution, storage and usage.