The House of Representatives will soon decide whether to approve the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence’s proposal to create a center in Nigeria to coordinate and control the spread of small arms and light weapons.

This was done in response to the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence’s proposal as a way to advance the fight against community and societal insecurity.

In his submission on Wednesday, the committee chairman, Shaaban Sharada claimed that ECOWAS member states saw the spread of small arms and light weapons as a serious danger to peace and stability inside member nations based on the report synopsis.

The document was titled: ‘a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Nigerian Centre for the Coordination and Control of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria.’

“They are deeply concerned at the flow of small arms and light weapons into West Africa and recognise the need to control arms transfers.

“It is instructive to note that ECOWAS member states consider the proliferation of small arms and light weapons to constitute a major threat to peace and stability within member states. They are deeply concerned at the flow of small arms and light weapons into West Africa and recognise the need to control arms transfers.

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“They recognize the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacture, excessive accumulation, trafficking, detention and use of small arms and light weapons. In light of this, and recognizing the principles and obligations contained in previous agreements, member states agreed to the articles contained in Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

“This Bill therefore, seeks to establish a National Institutional framework to implement the provisions of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons 2006,” the Synopsis reads.

According to Mr. Sharada, the purpose of the bill is to create a national institutional framework for putting the 2006 ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons’ provisions into effect.

He said that the Center would do more to stop the spread of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) by arm smugglers into Nigeria and the West African Sub-region across porous borders.

He continued, “Following extensive consultations with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and several other stakeholders, the Committee Recommended for the Establishment of the Centre.

“The Committee Recommended for the Establishment of the Centre after wide consultations with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Institute of Advanced Legal studies amongst several other stakeholders.

“The Committee also wishes to state that there is an existing functional administrative structure, the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) with six zonal offices under the office of the National Security Adviser. The center is currently headed by a National Coordinator and has several staff working in its various departments and units.”

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