By our reporter| The Federal Government on Monday said it has approved the establishment of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW).
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.
According to a statement signed on Monday by the Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakariya Usman, the decision to establish the centre is part of the ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture.
“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 statement read.
“The NCCSALW replaces the defunct Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons and shall serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research, and monitoring of all aspects of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Nigeria.
“This decision is part of the ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture to address emerging threats and strengthen the 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 statement added that 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 Centre will maintain international cooperation and also operate zonal offices in the Six Geopolitical Zones to ensure quick response and effective mobilization of resources.
President Buhari had in August 2020 approved the establishment of the center.
The National Security Adviser said the center will be similar to the counter-terrorism centre and the cybersecurity centre, both of which are domiciled under his office.