Nigeria Moves to Domesticate Chemical Weapons’ Convention

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The federal government has said it was in the process of domesticating the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Mr. Gabriel Aduda, stated this wednesday at a Workshop on the Role of Implementing legislation on the chemical Weapons Convention in addressing threats arising from non State actors.

Aduda said that the move by the federal government was in line with Article Vii of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

He said government had presented a Chemical and Biological Weapons Prohibition Bill to the National Assembly.

The permanent secretary stressed that there had been a renewed call on national governments on the convention to identify and seal up gaps in their legislative framework with a view to strengthening in- countries security architecture, to meet up with global challenges and prevent emerging threats from chemical terrorism, towards ensuring peace, security and stability.

Aduda further highlighted that the Chemical and Biological Weapons’ Prohibition Bill as presented to the National Assembly, had undergone several legislative processes and is currently at its final stage before passage into law. “We are hopeful that this will be finalised before the end of the 8th Assembly, by June 2019” he said.

He also assured that when Chemical and Biological Weapons Prohibition finally becomes law, it would proffer Nigeria with a solid foundation on management of chemicals of security concern and establishes laws which criminalises chemical weapons activities undertaken by state and non-state actors, provide preventive as well as punitive measures for violations in areas such as use, trade and transportation of chemical weapons within its jurisdiction, among others.

He noted the catastrophic propensity of the chemical weapons attack to humanity, adding that the challenges of chemical safety have immense socio-economic and public health implications, which can only be effectively and efficiently addressed with enormous resources in terms of funding, institutional framework, human and infrastructural capacity.

According to him, in order to achieve the overall goal of “a world free of chemical weapons”, National Governments, Regional Economic Communities, Corporate Bodies and Chemical Industries and other relevant stakeholders would need to align with the concerted efforts of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).