President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) which would be domiciled at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Head, Strategic Communications, ONSA, Zakari Usman, in a statement on Monday, said Buhari had appointed retired Maj.-Gen. AM Dikko as pioneer coordinator of the centre.
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He said Dikko had served in various capacities in and outside Nigeria.
Usman said the centre replaced the defunct Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons and would serve as institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of SALW in Nigeria.
He said the decision was part of ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture to address emerging threats and strengthen regional mechanisms for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW.
He said the impact of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region had resulted in terrorism, human trafficking, organised 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 societies 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 mobilisation of resources,” he said.