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FG establishes centre to combat illicit trade of small arms

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a national centre for the control of small arms and light weapons (NCCSALW).

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AM Dikko, a major general, has been appointed as pioneer coordinator of the centre.

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ZM Usman, head of strategic communication, office of the national security adviser (NSA), said the NCCSALW replaces the defunct presidential committee on small arms and light weapons.

Usman said the centre will serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Nigeria.

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He said the decision to establish the centre is part of the federal government’s efforts to restructure  the country’s security architecture and address “emerging threats and strengthen regional mechanism for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW”.

“The impact of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region has resulted in terrorism, human trafficking, organized crime, and insurrections in West Africa and Nigeria,” the statement read.

“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.

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“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 Society 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 mobilization of resources.”

Dikko, the pioneer coordinator of the centre, is said to have vast experience working with ECOWAS and the UN.

He was a course director at the Kofi Annan lnternational Peacekeeping Centre and chief instructor of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre.

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He has also served as commander of  operation Lafiya Dole.

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