National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has restated its commitment to ensuring proper regulation and control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) within Nigeria in line with international best practices.
Zonal Coordinator, of the NCCSALW, South East zone, Okechukwu Ugo ,Major General(Rtd.) , disclosed this in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen on 12July,2023
According to him, the centre remains the only government body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the collection, storage, destruction, management and stockpiling of obsolete, seized, unmarked and illegally held small arms and light weapons within Nigeria
He said that ,the Centre was established on 3rd May, 2021 by an Executive directive by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari , in line with Article 24 of ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
He noted that ,”since it was established, the Centre has continued to effectively execute her mandate by destroying illicit arms which were recovered and back loaded from different theatres of operations as well as from various security agencies within the country.
“The Centre has further established zonal offices in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country to further strengthen her capacity to achieve her mandates more robustly,” he said.
Ugo stated that, the South East Zonal Office, in line with the overall vision of the NCCSALW, has continued to intensify efforts and sharpen strategies to control and mop up illicit arms in circulation in the Zone.
The statement reads in parts:
“The Zonal Coordinator wishes to use this medium to thank Royal fathers, leaders of faith based organizations and various government agencies in the South East for their cooperation with the Centre and appeals for more support to make the South East a safe and peaceful society.
“It has however been noticed with dismay that some unscrupulous elements/organizations have sprung up around the country falsely claiming to be discharging same responsibilities as enshrined in the vision, mission and objectives of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
” This situation has the propensity to create more confusion in mitigating the already complex problems caused by proliferation of illicit arms and light weapons in our society.
“It has therefore become necessary to advise these faceless organizations to desist from such nefarious acts that tend to mislead innocent citizens of our dear nation.
“The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, which is domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser, remains the only government body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the collection, storage, destruction, management and stockpiling of obsolete, seized, unmarked and illegally held small arms and light weapons within Nigeria. Any other person(s) parading themselves in this regard are doing so illegally and will be made to face the full weight of our extant national laws.
“The general public and the residents of the South East in particular are hereby enjoined to support the work of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons and to please report any such impostors to the nearest Police station or other security agencies for necessary action.
” The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons remains committed to engendering an illicit-arms free society in our nation as a whole,” the Zonal Coordinator said.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama