Nigeria Seeks Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes

The Nuclear renaissance continues on, this time in Nigeria:

Nigeria has called for the endorsement of its bid and those of other countries to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful and developmental purposes.

Speaking at the ongoing Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, Minister of Foreign Affairs Odein Ajumogobia said Nigeria hopes that the conference would endorse “appropriate practical measures to preserve the right of countries such as ours to exploit our entitlement under the NPT framework to use nuclear energy for such developmental purposes.”

The minister, at the meeting convened to bring up measures that would ensure non-proliferation of world’s nuclear weapons and ensure disarmament by nuclear powers, said Nigeria would continue to support positive initiatives aimed as establishing nuclear weapon free zones in areas of the world where they do not currently exist.

He said the biennial resolution at the first committee of the UN General Assembly on behalf of the group of African States demonstrates Nigeria ’s resolve to abide by the NPT framework, its responsibility and obligations.

Noting that Nigeria is clear and unshaken in its commitment to the ideals and objectives of the NPT and to a nuclear free world, the minister said the country’s “well documented” commitment to non-proliferation of nuclear material for non-peaceful purposes has been reinforced in recent years through the ratification of the 1997 Model Additional Protocol; the Safeguard Agreement with the IAEA; and the entry into force in July 2009 of the Treaty of Pelindaba.

According to Ajumogobia, “Nigeria’s endorsement of the 13 practical interim steps for the systematic and progressive efforts by state parties to accomplish the total elimination of nuclear weapons as the only absolute guarantee against the use, or threat of use, of such weapons”.

The minister, who also delivered a speech at the conference on behalf of the African Group, said: “Nuclear weapon states should implement in good faith all their obligations and commitments under the NPT; its various review process; desist from developing nuclear weapons and grant unconditionally, negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states in the spirit and letters of NPT, within a legally binding framework.”

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