President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of small arms and light weapons.
The National Security Adviser, NSA retired Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno, revealed this when he briefed State House Correspondents on the outcome of the Thursday’s virtual meeting of the Council of State.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
He said: “Based on my recommendation to the President, he has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the control of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria, to be domiciled in the office of the National Security Adviser.
“The centre will be akin to the Counter Terrorists Centre and also the Cyber-security Centre, which are both domiciled in the office of the National Security Adviser.
“This Centre on control of arms will provide the strategic framework for containing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, especially those coming from across our borders especially within the West Africa sub-region and through the maritime environment.’’
Mr Monguno noted that the Centre, when fully operational, would work in compliance with already laid down international standards and ECOWAS moratorium on the control of small arms and light weapons.
“The office of the NSA will deal with not just the control of the inflow of these dangerous weapons and propel lance but will also work on mopping up and disposing of those already in use,” he said.
He said a law would soon be enacted to that effect, so as to give the needed legal backing to the centre and its activities.
Mr Monguno announced that the president had also directed that there should be improved synergy and collaboration between the Armed Forces and other security agencies operating in the country.
“What this means is that there should be improvement in the synergy and collaboration between the Armed Forces on one hand and the intelligence agencies on the other hand while we simultaneously work with the para-military organisations,” he said.
According to him, President Buhari has given the go ahead for the procurement of more arms and ammunition to boost the fight against insurgency and other security challenges.
He added that the office of the NSA would now be coordinating the use of drones to patrol the vast lands where bandits and kidnappers operate.