Reps’ small arms control bill inches closer to final passage

A Bill seeking establishment of the Nigeria National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, has moved closer to its final passage by the House Representatives.

Report of the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, to which the Bill was referred  received the consideration of the House and a unanimous adoption on Wednesday at the committee of the whole, chaired by Deputy Speaker Idris Wase.

Chairman of the National Security and Intelligence Committee, Hon. Shaaban Sharada, representing Kano Municipal Federal Constituency of Kano State in presenting synopsis of the report recalled that the Bill was introduced on the Floor of the House in 2019, and subsequently referred to the panel, pursuant to Order 12 Rule 2 after the second reading.

He said the Committee held a Public Hearing on Monday, 27th September, 2021, and that memoranda and inputs received from the various stakeholders were subjected to further technical analysis and the report of the committee laid on the floor of the House on 21st July 2022.

“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. 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”, he said, adding that “This will go a long way to promote and ensure the coordination of concrete measures for effective control of Small Arms and light Weapon (SALW) in the country”.

With the committee’s recommendations adopted by the House, it is expected that clean copies of the Bill will be made available to members, pursuant to its final and third reading in the House, before transmission to the Senate for concurrence.

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