Stakeholders at an interactive session over four bills on National Security have advised the government to compel neighboring countries to enact laws to govern the handling of arms and ammunition.
This is to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons across West Africa, believed to be fuelling insurgency and other insecurity in Nigeria.
At the interactive session organised by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, participants stressed the need for ECOWAS countries to collaborate to make the region safer and secure.
Presenting the position of the Nigerian Navy, the Director Legal, NNS Commodore Jamila Abubakar Sadiq said most of the neighboring countries do not have armories thereby compounding the problem of arms and weapons proliferation.
“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries, I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armory for these countries or else we will not see peace.” Commodore Abubakar insisted.
Declaring the interactive session open, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila reiterated the House’s Commitment to partner with relevant stakeholders to provide legislations that would protect the country in line with its legislative agenda.
Mr. Gbajabiamila said “With this new Bill from the Executive, we now have two Bills in the House seeking to achieve similar objectives. These Bills should not be considered independently of each other.
”To the extent that their goals are the same, the two responsible committees on National Security and Intelligence and Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements will work together to achieve the objectives of these Bills.”
Chairman of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Shaaban Ibrahim Sharada described the four bills under consideration as critical to solving the security challenges facing the country.
“It is important to emphasize that this is a public hearing and everyone is a stakeholder.
”Beyond that, the security agencies are welcome to make submissions but everyone is welcome to make submissions as well.
”I say so because I want to underscore the fact that security is about everyone and we are all stakeholders.” Sharada stressed.
The Bills under consideration are for an act to establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, to make Provision for the Integration of Private close Circuit Television into the National Security Network and to Repeal the Explosives Act 2004.