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UNOCT, Nigeria Sign MoUs to Deepen Counter-terrorism Cooperation



The United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT) and the Federal Republic of Nigeria have come together and formalized their commitment to combating terrorism through the signing of two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements.

This announcement was made through an official press release issued by the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism on August 30, 2023.

The main aim of these agreements is to strengthen the collaborative efforts between the United Nations and the Federal Government of Nigeria in preventing and addressing terrorism and violent extremism. The joint statement emphasized the significance of this partnership.

The MoUs were officially signed by Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, the National Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria, and Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, who holds the position of United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counterterrorism.

During the signing event, Mr. Voronkov expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Government for their continuous cooperation with UNOCT. He also praised Nigeria’s active role in leading the fight against terrorism within the region.

He said:

  • “Today’s event marks an important milestone in our partnerships with the Government of Nigeria at this critical time when your country is taking a leading role in regional counter-terrorism efforts.”

In his speech, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counterterrorism also highlighted the importance of continued multilateral partnership with African governments in tackling terrorism in the continent.

In a statement delivered on behalf of the NSA to the President, Rear Admiral YEM Musa (Rtd.), Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Centre of Nigeria said:

  • ”The two MOUs we are about to sign today will set the stage for enhanced ONSA and UNOCT collaborative and coordinated actions to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks through increased information sharing, technological collaboration, and capacity-building initiatives on a global scale. It is also indicative of ONSA and UNOCT’s commitment to preventing, detecting and responding to acts of terrorism, while also safeguarding the rights and freedoms of individuals.”

Details of the MoUs signed by the UNOCCT and the Federal Government of Nigeria

The first agreement between the UN and the Federal Government was signed between the UNOCT and the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

The MoU aims to improve the partnership between both parties on countering terrorist travel, border and maritime security, delivery of counter-terrorism training in Nigeria and other security and counter-terrorism initiatives.

The first MoU would ensure that Nigeria would be supported in the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States Commission (ECOWAS) 2020-2024 Action Plan for eradicating terrorism in the sub-region.

The second agreement was signed between the UNOCT and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONS).

This agreement formalizes the existing partnership between the UNOCT and the Federal Government in preventing and countering terrorist travel and serious crimes in the context of the UNOCT-led Countering Terrorist Travel Programme.

The second MoU also aims to build Nigeria’s capacities to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute terrorist offences by collecting and analyzing both API and PNR data.

Both MoUs solidify the already existing partnership between both entities in enhancing Nigeria’s counterterrorism capabilities.

The cooperation between the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism and Nigeria has been over a decade and in that time, Nigeria has benefitted from 14 UNOCT capacity-building programmes and projects.