The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), under the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, 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).
This was disclosed in a statement by the Head, Strategic Communication, ONSA, Mr Zakari Usman, on Monday (3rd May), in Abuja.
Mr. Usman stated that NCCSALW had replaced the defunct Presidential Committee on SALW and would serve as an institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of SALW in Nigeria.
Mr. Usman went on to say that the decision was part of the ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture, as a means of addressing and tackling the emerging threats in the nation, while subsequently strengthening the regional mechanism for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW.
In the statement, Usman stated that the impact of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region has resulted in terrorism, human trafficking, organised crime, and insurrections in West Africa and Nigeria. In his words;
“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.
Another disclosure made by Usman was the appointment of retired Maj.Gen. AM Dikko, by President Muhammadu Buhari, as Pioneer Coordinator of the centre.
Talking anout the new appointee, Dikko, Usman said;
“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.