Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ambassador Sanders' Remarksb at the Handover Ceremony of Nuclear Radiation Detection Equipment

Remarks as prepared for delivery
U.S. Ambassador Robin R. Sanders
Handover Ceremony of Nuclear Radiation Detection Equipment
Benue Room, Hilton Hotel, Abuja
November 18, 2008

Good Afternoon! I am honored to be with you today as part of this very important workshop on radiation detection and recovery. And I regret that, due to a conflict in my schedule, I was unable to join you at the opening ceremony yesterday. Please know that I am very supportive of this training, and of the work that you are doing for the benefit of your country.

Let me again recognize and congratulate Professor Elegba for his strong leadership and commitment to the development of Nigeria’s regulatory and institutional framework. I would also like to recognize and congratulate each and every one of you for your continuing dedication to ensuring that radioactive nuclear materials are safe, secure, and used for their intended peaceful purposes.

On May 26, 2004, the United Sates Government established the Global Threat Reduction Search and Secure Project to train nuclear regulatory agencies, such as the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, to locate, identify, and protect abandoned radioactive sources. So far, this project has benefited 23 nations and I am very pleased that by taking part in this training program, Nigeria has become a member of this select group. I am confident that this workshop will help you improve upon your already existing skills and techniques to more effectively and efficiently do the meaningful work that you do.

In this regard, the people and government of the United States, through the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, are pleased to partner with the people and government of Nigeria to assist the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority and other concerned agencies, in building the necessary professional and institutional capacity to ensure that radioactive nuclear materials are used safely and securely.

I am also very pleased to see that this workshop has brought together Nigerian professionals from across various agencies with a common goal of instituting a sound program for monitoring and safeguarding radioactive materials. I encourage you to nurture these networks as they will open vital lines of communication and foster valuable synergies that will advance your country’s vital interest in this area.

On behalf of the people and government of the United States of America, it gives me great pleasure to handover to the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority this nuclear radiation detection equipment.

I look forward to our continuing partnership, and I encourage you to take full advantage of the expertise available to you as evidenced by the skills, knowledge and experience of the participants in this room today.

I wish you luck as you complete your training and I am confident that you will continue to succeed in the very important work that you do, and in the exciting opportunities that await you in the future. Thank you.