The House of Representatives is about to contemplate the advice of its Committee on National Security and Intelligence, for the institution of a Centre for the coordination and management of the proliferation of small arms and light-weight weapons in Nigeria.
In the synopsis of the report seen by journalists, the Committee chairman, Hon. Shaaban Sharada (APC, Kano), defined the trajectory of the doc titled: ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Nigerian Centre for the Coordination and Control of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria’.
“This Bill was launched on the Floor of the House in 2019 and subsequently referred to the Committee on National Security and Intelligence Pursuant to Order 12 Rule 2 after the second Reading.
“The Committee held a Public Hearing on Monday, twenty seventh September, 2021 within the Conference Room 231. The Hearing was declared open by the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives and was nicely attended by Members of the Committee and invited stakeholders.
“The memoranda and inputs obtained from the assorted stakeholders have been subjected to additional technical evaluation and the Report of the committee had been laid on the ground of the House on twenty first July 2022.
“It is instructive to notice that ECOWAS member states contemplate the proliferation of small arms and light-weight weapons to represent a serious risk to peace and stability inside member states. They are deeply involved on the move of small arms and light-weight weapons into West Africa and recognise the necessity to management arms transfers.
“They recognise the necessity to forestall, fight and eradicate the illicit manufacture, extreme accumulation, trafficking, detention and use of small arms and light-weight weapons. In mild of this, and recognizing the ideas and obligations contained in earlier agreements, member states agreed to the articles contained in Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“This Bill, therefore, seeks to establish a National Institutional framework to implement the provisions of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons 2006,” the synopsis reads.
Sharada in his synopsis argued that the Bill “will go a long way to promote and ensure the coordination of concrete measures for effective control of Small Arms and light Weapon (SALW) in the country.”
According to him, “the Centre would further combat the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapon (SALW) by arm smugglers across our own porous borders into Nigeria as well as the West African Sub-region.”
“The Committee really helpful for the Establishment of the Centre after vast consultations with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Institute of Advanced Legal research amongst a number of different stakeholders.
“The Committee additionally needs to state that there’s an current purposeful administrative construction, the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) with six zonal workplaces beneath the workplace of the National Security Adviser. The middle is presently headed by a National Coordinator and has a number of workers working in its numerous departments and items.
“We therefore strongly recommend that the House do consider and pass the provisions of the Bill as contained in the Report of the Committee,” it added.