Nigeria set to join EU centres of excellence

Lt Gen Abdulrahaman Bello Dambazau (rtd), Deputy Head, European Union Delegation in Nigeria, Mr Richard Young , and Prof. Jean-Claude Consseron

ABUJA (Interior Ministry’ Report)- The European Union (EU) is set to partner Nigeria on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation (CBRN) Centres of Excellence Initiative of the European Union, launched in 2010.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Head, European Union Delegation in Nigeria, Mr Richard Young, when he visited the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen Abdulrahaman Bello Dambazau (rtd), in Abuja.

According to Young, the initiative seeks to address the mitigation of, and preparedness against risks related to CBRN material and agents.

The Deputy Head noted that it would also boost cooperation at national, regional and international levels aimed at developing a common and coherent CBRN Mitigation Policy at national and regional levels.

Explaining further, he stated that such mitigation comprised prevention, preparedness and post-event management. Adding that the initiative was funded by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation with the United Nation Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute.

He accorded priority to the Ministry of Interior to drive and fast-track the process to enable Nigeria benefit from the experience of such Centres of Excellence established by the Economic Commission.

Responding, the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen Abdulrahaman Bello Dambazau (rtd), described the Ministry as the lead agency in the aspect of public safety and security, and expressed the readiness of the Ministry, on behalf of the Federal Government, to partner EU on the project.

As part of Nigeria’s readiness to join the EU Centre of Excellence, the Minister, immediately set up an Inter-Agency Technical Committee to draw up terms of reference to identify Needs Assessment of the country, and enjoined the committee to enlarge it to an inter-ministerial level to include ministries such as Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, as well as Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

The Minister indicated that Nigeria, with the largest population and economy in Africa, would benefit from the CBRN Initiative as there would be exchange of information, expertise and training programmes with the European Union.

He noted that nuclear waste dumping, medical waste management, general e-waste disposal and allied matters would be areas of concern to Nigeria.