NSA Seeks Effective Control Of Small Arms, Light Weapons
THE National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, has called for effective and efficient control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Nigeria. He spoke yesterday in Abuja at the training of national focal persons on the exemptions to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Conventions on small arms and light weapons. He also stressed the need for all member states to review the current management of exemption procedures on ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“Chapter 2 of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and Other Related Materials, stipulates the principle of prohibition of transfer of arms (Article 3), with possibility of exemption under specific conditions (Article 4), and following a clearly defined procedure (Article 5). Moreover, the need to review the current management of the exemption procedure by Member States and recommend options for an effective and efficient control of transfer of SALW in the country cannot be over emphasized”, he said.
Monguno who was represented by Col. Isaac Idu, explained that good understanding and compliance with the specific provisions relating to the exemption procedure are essential conditions for the effective control of transfers of arms in the region and hence for the fight against the proliferation of SALWs.
“It is in that perspective that the ECOWAS Commission is organizing the current training of Member States’ focal persons on the exemption procedure to the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms. I therefore call on participants to be good ambassadors of their respective agencies as well as Nigeria, and to ensure that the objectives of this training programme are fully imbibed in order to enhance the overall compliance to the Convention by Nigeria in SALWs procurement/transfers and the collective fight against SALWs proliferation in the sub-region,” he added.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini, stated that the regional body was committed to the to the fight against proliferation of small arms and light weapons . The Commissioner explained that the regional body would continue to provide support for training of security operatives in the region.
“In the coming years, the commission intends to further support small arms control activities in the region in the areas of physical safety and national stockpiles, efficient management of the ECOWAS exemption process and support for continuous training for our security operative”, Mrs Hussaini said.
At the event which was organised by the ECOWAS Small Arms Division in collaboration with Presidential Committee on Small Arms Light Weapons of Nigeria, Hussaini explained that the exemption procedure was the cornerstone of the ECOWAS policy on small arms and light weapons put in place to strengthen the control of illicit arms in the region.