The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd), has approved the appointment of Zonal Coordinators for the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW).
The National Coordinator of the Centre, Major General AM Dikko (rtd), in a statement issued by Air Commodore Ewejide Akintunde, said the appointment of the Zonal Coordinators followed the approval for the establishment of Zonal Centres in the six geopolitical zones namely Kaduna, Minna, Maiduguri, Ado-Ekiti, Enugu and Calabar.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had in May 2021, approved the establishment of the NCCSALW. Following the approval, the Federal Government had In August 2021 said, offices for the centre would be established across the six geopolitical zones.
Dikko noted last year, that the arms control Centre was intended to serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.
He added that the centre would be promoting policy actions through networking and advocacy in collaboration with government agencies, civil society organisations, security sector institutions, development partners and international organisations.
A report by research and consultancy group, Beacon Consulting Ltd., a member of ASIS International in 2021 revealed that at least 6.5 million small arms and light weapons were circulating in Nigeria.
According to the report, 5 million of these weapons are in the possession of non-state actors while law enforcement agencies possess only 568,000.
The appointment of the Zonal Coordinators, the statement explained, was to further operationalise the activities of the NCCSALW towards the eradication of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) nationwide.
According to the statement, the appointed Zonal Coordinators for the arms control agency comprise senior retired officers from the security agencies.
The appointees include; AVM HU Mohammed (rtd), for the North-West Zone, Major General HI Bature(Rtd) – North Central and Rear Admiral AS Mohammed (rtd) – North East. Others include Akinlade Ben Sola (Rtd), from the Department of State Service for the South-West Zone, Major General Okechukwu Ugo (Rtd) – South-East and Major General IM Obot (Rtd), for the South-South Zone.
Last year, the centre said it had concluded plans to compile all illicit and illegal weapons seized from criminal elements including insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and armed robbers for destruction.
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