Nigerian government establishes centre for arms control

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to be domiciled at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Mr Zakari Usman, the ONSA’s Head of Strategic Communication, revealed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja city.

The NCCSALW, according to Usman, has taken the place of the defunct Presidential Committee on SALW and will serve as an institutional framework for policy direction, study, and monitoring of all aspects of SALW in Nigeria.

He explained that the decision was made as part of Nigeria’s ongoing security architecture reform to counter emerging threats and reinforce regional mechanisms for SALW monitoring, prevention, and regulation. 

Terrorism, human trafficking, organized crime, and insurgencies have resulted in West Africa and Nigeria, according to him, as a result of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region. 

“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.

Usman also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed retired Maj.Gen. AM Dikko as Pioneer Coordinator of the centre.

Dikko, he said, had worked in a variety of capacities both in and outside of Nigeria. 

“He was a Course Director at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre and Chief `Instructor of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre.

“He was also a Military Adviser, United Nation Office for West Africa, Director Peacekeeping Operations Defence Headquarters, Commander Operations LAST HOLD as well as Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, to mention a few.

“The pioneer coordinator has vast experience working with the ECOWAS and the UN system and is expected to operationalise the objectives of the NCCSALW,” he said.

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