August 11, 2022

The senate has passed a bill seeking to establish the national commission for the coordination and control of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The proposed legislation — a consolidation of three bills — was passed by the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday after Ibrahim Gobir, chairman of the committee on national security and intelligence, presented a report.

While one of the bills was proposed by the executive, the other two are sponsored by lawmakers.

President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly blamed the influx of small arms into the country on the crisis in Libya, which he said has fuelled insecurity in Nigeria.

Libya has not been stable since the Arab Spring of 2011 and that has led to a humanitarian crisis in the oil-rich country.

While presenting his report, Gobir said the commission would function in line with article 24 of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) convention on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The Sokoto senator said the establishment of the commission would support efforts to address the country’s rising insecurity.

After the presentation of the report, the senate went into a meeting of the “committee of the whole” to consider clauses of the bill.

The bill was passed after Senate President Ahmad Lawan put it to vote.

Meanwhile, in 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of a national centre for the control of small arms and light weapons (NCCSALW).

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