International Cooperation and Liaison

A Brief on the International Cooperation and Liaison Department

The International Cooperation and Liaison (ICL) Department is one of the key technical departments of the Commission established to provide a platform for cooperation in the framework of Bilateral and Multilateral arrangements with other international bodies and nations for the effective deployment of nuclear science and technology in Nigeria. Some of these international partners and nations include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA), World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), United Nations (UN), Russia, Korea, China, USA, etc. The ICL department is comprised of the following critical divisions:

  • IAEA/AFRA Coordination Division
  • International Nuclear Information System (INIS) Division
  • Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Division
  • United Nations Cooperation Division


  1. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization established on 29 July 1957 as an autonomous organization for the promotion of the peaceful application of nuclear energy in a safe and secured manner and to inhibit its use for any other non-peaceful uses like the development of nuclear weapons etc. Nigeria joined the IAEA in 1964. In this , the IAEA cooperates with Member Countries and provides a platform for cooperation among nations that are members of the IAEA. The cooperation between Member States and the IAEA are carried within the framework of the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) where national projects in the various thematic areas of the IAEA are implemented e.g. Food and Nutrition, Radiation Safety, Agriculture and Water Resources, Health etc.

The IAEA has three main bodies namely – the Board of Governors, the General Conference and the Secretariat.

  1. African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA)

To foster regional collaboration and cooperation, the IAEA has also established a platform that is known as – African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA). This platform allows for cooperation among Member States of the IAEA that are from the African Continent. Under AFRA, Regional projects are implemented by two (2) or more countries in the region to address specific issues common to the participating countries.

Within NAEC, AEA/AFRA activities is coordinated by the International Cooperation and Liaison (ICL) Department and focusses on the following among others:

IAEA/AFRA Coordination

  • Coordination of Nigeria’s IAEA/AFRA projects and programmes.
  • Coordination of the preparation of the IAEA Country Programme Framework and AFRA Programmes during each TC Programme cycle.
  • Provision of Monitoring and Evaluation Services for IAEA TC counterpart programme projects in the country.
  • Coordinating all activities around Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
  • Coordinating Nigeria’s participation at the IAEA General Conference (GC) in Vienna, Austria and other Conferences and other events.
  • Anchoring meetings with IAEA experts from time to time on matters bothering the efficient running of IAEA/AFRA activities in the country.
  • Facilitates the provision of Import Duty and Exemption Certificates for the supply of IAEA equipment for project delivery.


  1. International Nuclear Information System (INIS) Division

In every field of science, a reliable information system is essential to identify, map, and preserve the information resources and make them easily accessible to current and future generations. INIS is a database system of the IAEA hosting several collections of published information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. The domain of knowledge covered by INIS is very wide and reflects the knowledge domain of the IAEA. This includes physics (in particular, plasma physics, atomic and molecular physics, and especially nuclear and high-energy physics), chemistry, materials science, earth sciences, radiation biology, radioisotope effects and kinetics, applied life sciences, radiology and nuclear medicine, isotope and radiation source technology, radiation protection, radiation applications, engineering, instrumentation, fossil fuels, synthetic fuels, renewable energy sources, advanced energy systems, fission and fusion reactor technology, safeguards and inspection, waste management, environmental aspects of the production and consumption of energy from nuclear and non-nuclear sources, energy efficiency and energy conservation, economics and sociology of energy production and use, energy policy, and nuclear law.

INIS is based on international cooperation among INIS Member States and cooperating international organizations. Representation in the system is at governmental level. Each country designates a national INIS centre to be responsible for all INIS-related activities. Most stages of the operation are decentralized, with the collection of input and the dissemination of products to end-users being decentralized in the Member States. Only data processing and product development are centralized in the INIS Secretariat, which is located at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. There are several reasons for choosing a decentralized approach: to ensure comprehensive coverage and the distribution of cost among INIS members; to effectively handle information in different languages; and to collect full texts that are not available through commercial channels.

The INIS Unit of Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission identifies and sensitizes potential users of INIS products and services on the enormous information contained in the INIS database as well as collects materials and information of nuclear interest with a view to contributing to the information needs of the international nuclear information systems database. Many approaches have been adopted to ensure an effective outreach exercise:

  1. Identification of INIS potential users via visitation to all types of institutes in Nigeria with activities related to the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. They include:
  • government offices;
  • universities with programmes in nuclear-related fields;
  • industries with a nuclear component;
  • laboratories conducting researche in nuclear medicine, radioisotopes application, etc.;
  • research institutes in other nuclear fields;
  • Institutes applying nuclear techniques in agriculture, geology etc.
  1. Promotion and marketing at nuclear conferences, meetings, symposia and exhibitions with online and/or CD-ROM demonstrations.
  2. Preparation and distribution of booklets, fact sheets, demo CDs, video film and other promotional tools.


All programmes to identify and attract users are exhaustively exploited with a view to increasing the number of users. The major thrusts of INIS Unit activities include:

  • Gathering of relevant literature for input preparation from relevant institutions, conferences, seminars and workshops taking place in Nigeria.
  • Promotion of INIS products and services among Nigeria nuclear scientists and engineers at institutions, conferences, workshops and seminars.
  • Strengthening the capacity of nuclear information management in view of Nigeria’s intention to introduce nuclear power plant.
  • Development of INIS Promotional Materials.
  • Processing of IAEA training/fellowship/scientific visits nomination forms for the country.


  1. Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Division

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBTO) was established in 1996 to ban all nuclear explosion tests in all ramifications and restrict further development of existing nuclear weapons. The CTBTO is to establish 337 monitoring stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS), which span the entire globe to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes unnoticed. The IMS uses four technologies to monitor the globe. These are radionuclide, seismic, infrasound and hydroacoustics. Within the framework of the cooperation between the CTBTO and Member States, countries are encouraged to establish National Data Centres (NDC) that will serve as national authority on matters related to the CTBTO.

The CTBTO also maintains an International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna, Austria which manages the data and also generates products from the analysis of the data from the IMS.

The data and the products generated therefrom are distributed through a Global Communications Infrastructure (GCI) to the NDCs of State Parties for the purpose of Treaty Verification. Each State Party is expected to be part of the verification scheme by designating a National Authority i.e. the NDC that will receive and analyse the data/products distributed by the IDC. In Nigeria, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission has the responsibility of coordinating the overall activities of the CTBTO thus serving as the focal point for all matters relating to the treaty and its implementation.

In Nigeria, NAEC has the responsibility for hosting the NDC which is located in the Researchers Hostel and Conference Centre (RHCC), Nuclear Technology Centre (NTC), Sheda, Abuja, but operates as a Unit under the International Cooperation and Liaison Department (ICL) of the Commission.


The CTBT Division has ensured that the National Data Centre (NDC) is functional and effort had also been put in place to see that Nigeria is recognized as a core member of CTBTO after which the VSAT was pursued, completed and it has now been mounted for its proper use. Some of the tasks performed at the NDC-NG include:

  • Data requests from the IDC/CTBTO
  • Data download at the NDC-NG (through the Global Communications Infrastructure)
  • Data archiving & analysis
  • Communicating with the CTBT
  • Advise to government
  • Support towards R&D initiatives on CTBT relevant matters, etc