From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
House of Representatives is set to consider the report of its Committee on National Security and Intelligence on a bill for the establishment of a Centre for the coordination and Control of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.
Chairman of the committee, Shaaban Sharada, in the synopsis of the report, said the center, if established will go a long way to promote and ensure the coordination of measures for effective control of Small Arms and light Weapon (SALW) in the country.
Sharada also noted that there is already an existing functional administrative structure, the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) with six zonal offices, which is under the office of the National Security Adviser( NSA).
The lawmaker said “this Bill was introduced 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, 27th September, 2021 in the Conference Room 231. The Hearing was declared open by the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives and was well attended by Members of the Committee and invited stakeholders.
“The memoranda and inputs received from the various stakeholders were subjected to further technical analysis and the Report of the committee had been laid on the floor of the House on 21st July 2022.
“It is instructive to note that ECOWAS member states consider the proliferation of small arms and light weapons to constitute a major threat to peace and stability within member states. They are deeply concerned at the flow of small arms and light weapons into West Africa and recognise the need to control arms transfers.
“They recognize the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacture, excessive accumulation, trafficking, detention and use of small arms and light weapons. In light of this, and recognizing the principles and obligations contained in previous 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.”