The Federal Government will soon review the1964 Explosive Act and 1967 Explosive Regulation to curtail the proliferation of
explosives in Nigeria, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, has said.
The official, Mr. Dauda Awojobi, Acting Director, Mines Inspectorate, gave the hint yesterday in Abuja in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said the review had become necessary as issues relating to the use of explosives were becoming critical in view of the security challenges facing the country.
“The world is not rigid and things that are being done in the past may not suit the circumstances of today; we want to update the law, which was made in the 1964 and the regulations of 1967.
“From 1964 to date is about 50 years; we believe that the law is due for review. The world itself is changing; technology has over taken events and issues,’’ he said.
Awojobi said that stakeholders in the mining sector, importers and manufacturers of explosives, as well as law enforcement agencies would be involved in the review.
He said that a selected stakeholder forum would be held where the draft bill would be presented, discussed and areas of amendment made before the bill is forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.
He added that during the review, efforts would be made to provide adequate security arrangements for monitoring the transportation, usage and storage of explosives.
The acting director said that, in the amended law, sanctions would be provided to punish offenders.
He said that efforts were underway to track the use of explosives and improve their monitoring mechanism.
He said the ministry had issued notice to stakeholders to upgrade their magazines to the required standards for safety purposes, adding that standard prototype guidelines would soon be released to guide operators.
Awojobi further added that in the new policy, only mining engineers or mining technologists or geoscientists knowledgeable in explosives technology would be registered to handle explosives.
Awojobi said that though ammonium nitrate in its free state was not an explosive, it had been classified as an explosive because of the way it was being used.