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Proliferation of small arms hampering Nigeria’s progress, says NSA

The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, says proliferation of small arms and light weapons is hampering the progress of Nigeria and eroding the very foundation…

The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, says proliferation of small arms and light weapons is hampering the progress of Nigeria and eroding the very foundation of Nigerian society.

He said that it is a challenge that can’t be combated by one single entity. 

The NSA, who spoke in Abuja on Thursday at a one-day roundtable meeting on the control of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria, also described the menace as a scourge that undermines security architecture of the country.

The meeting with the theme: “Mapping the Landscape of SALW Proliferation in Nigeria: Gaps and Opportunities,” was organised by the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW). 

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Speaking through Mohammed Ahmed, his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Ribadu called for action as well as focused interaction among stakeholders which seek to secure the unwavering commitment of every participant.

“The proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons is a scourge that undermines our security, hampers our progress, and erodes the very foundation of our society. It is a challenge that no single entity can combat alone, hence, this roundtable.

“This is the second of its kind. At the First Roundtable in 2021, a few commitments were made by some of you on the table today but unfortunately, not all have been delivered,” the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told the gathering.

He said: “The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons stands at a critical juncture, where the support and collaboration of all stakeholders are not just beneficial but essential.

“As we engage in discussions today, let us be guided by the urgency of our mission and the knowledge that the success of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons is intrinsically linked to the security and prosperity of our society as whole.

Earlier, the National Coordinator for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Maj.-Gen. Abba Dikko (Rtd) appealed to President Bola Tinubu to assent to the Centre’s Bill in order to provide legal backing for operational efficiency.

According to him, the centre is working towards an ICT setup for a national database of small arms and light weapons to unify and streamline inventory management. 

On her part, the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Enobong Moma said illicit weapons threaten electoral processes, weaken police authority, promote sexual violence and undermine security efforts to maintain peace.

Moma who is the Programme Manager for Organized Crime West Africa Response to Trafficking, added that insecurity due to the prevalence of illicit arms drives away sorely needed external investments into the country.

 

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