In an effort to curb growing insecurity in Nigeria caused by the proliferation of small arms, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The NCCSALW replaces the defunct Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons and is expected to serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Nigeria.
The new center will be domiciled in the office of the National Security Adviser and Retired Major General AM Dikko has been appointed as Pioneer Coordinator.
The announcement was made in a statement signed on Monday by the Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakariya Usman.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser.
“This decision is part of ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture to address emerging threats and strengthen regional mechanism for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW.
“The impact of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region has resulted in terrorism, human trafficking, organized crime, and insurrections in West Africa and Nigeria.
“Therefore, as one of the measures in tackling this threat, the new Centre will be fulfilling the requirements of the ECOWAS Moratorium on Import, Export, and Manufacture of Light Weapons as well as the UN Plan of Action to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW.
“The NCCSALW will serve as the National Focal Point on SALW in Nigeria and lead a multi-stakeholder process involving Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and the Civil Society in implementing all national, UN and ECOWAS Plans of Action on the control of SALW,” the statement read in part.
Usman in the statement noted that the Centre will maintain international cooperation and also operate zonal offices in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones to ensure quick response and effective mobilization of resources.
By Abel Ejikeme