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Reps back centre to control proliferation of arms

The House of Representatives is set to consider the recommendation of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence for the establishment of a Centre for the coordination and Control of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.

The House has therefore concluded arrangements for the consideration of the Committee’s report on seeking the creation of the Centre as a measure to help advance the war against insecurity within communities and the larger society.

In the synopsis of the report the committee chairman, Shaaban Sharada, stated 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.

Mr Sharada explained that the Bill, seeks to establish a National Institutional framework to implement the provisions of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons 2006.

According to him, the Centre would further combat the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapon (SALW) by arm smugglers across porous borders into Nigeria as well as the West African Sub-region.

He added that the Committee Recommended for the Establishment of the Centre after wide consultations with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Institute of Advanced Legal studies amongst several other stakeholders.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Chinasa Ossai