Reps summon customs, DSS chiefs over menace of arms
• Army to collaborate with weapon manufacturers
The House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali (rtd), to explain how to rid the country of the menace of small arms and light weapons in the polity.
Adopting a motion initiated by Obinna Chidoka, the lawmakers also summoned the Director General of the department of State Security Service (DSS), Mr. Lawal Daura, to shed light on the issue.
Commending the NCS over the recent seizure of four shipments of firearms into the country, the House urged the NCS, DSS and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to speed up investigations on seized firearms and ensure prosecution of the culprits to serve as deterrent to others.
The House further enjoined the NCS and other regulatory agencies to intensify ports checks to control the influx into the country. Chidoka claimed that the NCS had on four occasions this year intercepted 2,671 pieces of firearms smuggled into the country. He said there was a need for concerted effort to nip the menace in the bud.
He said the recent influx of firearms into the country has confirmed the recent report of the United Nations regional centre for peace and disarmament in Africa, which identified Nigeria as a destination of choice for smugglers of small arms and light weapons.
Also, the House adopted a motion aimed at addressing the resurgent traffic gridlock in Apapa, Lagos State. The lawmakers urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to immediately commence the process of relocating tank farms domiciled in the Apapa axis.
They also mandated the House Committee on Petroleum Downstream to liaise with NNPC to ensure only tankers with Authority to Load (ATL) are allowed into Apapa.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday said the army would collaborate with renowned arms manufacturers of military hardware across the world to produce modern equipment for its personnel.
Buratai in an interview with journalists during an exhibition by some renowned manufacturers of military arsenals at the Army Resource Centre in Abuja, said: “Our aim is to collaborate with these organisations so we can have the best to modernise our own army.
“Their presence here will help greatly to modernise the Nigerian Army in line with contemporary development in science and technology.”
The Director of Peconian Ltd, one of the organisers of the exhibition, Phectim Rowe, stressed the need for partnership between the Nigerian army and international arms manufacturers, stressing that partnership was necessary in helping the army to produce modern equipment, using local content.