Babagana Monguno, national security adviser (NSA), says five security operatives have been arrested for allegedly supplying explosives to Niger Delta militants.
Monguno said this at a news conference on Thursday.
He said that his office had conducted an audit of explosive magazines and quarries in the Niger Delta region, and it discovered that some of the substance was diverted for illegal use.
“Let me also use this opportunity to inform you that this office conducted investigations into the incessant bombing of oil facilitates in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and discovered that commercial explosives and accessories were used for these attacks,” he said.
“Based on this fact, I directed our explosives experts in office of the national security adviser to conduct further investigations and detailed audit of the records of explosives magazines and quarries in that region, which revealed the diversion of about 9000kg of high explosives and 16,420 pieces of detonators for illegal use.
“The actors, including the store man of a major explosives distribution company in Nigeria, an accomplice and five security operatives, have been arrested and handed over to appropriate authorities.
“Right now investigations are being conducted and I can assure you that they are deeply culpable and the necessary action will be taken on the conclusion of these investigations.”
The NSA also warned the two main manufacturers of fertilizer in the country to desist from engaging in practices that will undermine the nation’s security and economy.
“In keeping with the commitment of the government to boosting national economy, Notore Petrochemical and Indorama Eleme Petrochemical were licensed as the sole manufacturers of the urea blend of fertilizers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the office of the national security adviser in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development facilitated necessary importation of raw materials and also secured the distribution networks,” he said.
“This move was aimed at solving the national security problem on the one hand by easy control of items and on the other by boosting economy by encouraging local production. The cumulative annual production of the two companies estimated consumption rate is 1.1 million metric tonnes, which is 53 per cent of production. Accordingly, the companies have the opportunity to cumulatively export about 47 per cent of their production.
“However, this office has observed with total dismay some unpatriotic act and abuse of the goodwill of government. Reports of activities of these companies have indicated that about 71 per cent of the 2.05 million metric tonnes cumulative annual production is being exported to the detriment of our national economy. This has resulted in a spike in the price of urea-based fertilizers in Nigeria with obvious implications on food security in the country.
“In view of the foregoing, I wish to categorically state that government will continue to adhere to the rule of law. However, it must be noted that rule of law is not akin to anarchy. Accordingly this office will not hesitate to close and withdraw the operating license of any company that exports products without first meeting local consumption. This office and the ministry will work to put in place measure to access production and determine exportable quantity by the respective companies. Please note that the well being of this country is a collective responsibility of all.”