The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has revealed that over 3,000 illegal arms have been recovered in the last 18 months.
The centre’s national coordinator, Abba Dikko, spoke on Wednesday in Kaduna State.
Dikko stated that the recovery was part of ongoing efforts to combat the spread of illegal firearms in Nigeria.
He stated that the recovered arms would be destroyed in Kaduna on Thursday, while reiterating the center’s determination to ensure that only authorized individuals possess firearms in the country.
He stated that the illegal acquisition of firearms has significantly contributed to Nigeria’s security challenges.
“Since the take-off of the centre in May 2021, tremendous achievements have been recorded and landmark progress made and within the period under review over 3000 arms were recovered,” Dikko said.
“We are at the moment under the guidance of the national security adviser before the bill for our establishment is passed into law to fulfil the mandate of the ECOWAS charter of 2006, which Nigeria was a signatory nation.
“It mandated member states to establish a commission to regulate acquisition, use and disposal of small and light weapons.
“It is only Nigeria and Ghana where the commission is yet to be given legal teeth to carry out its function as required.”
Dikko stated that the center’s activities have been decentralized in order to improve its effectiveness.
“For effective administration, we have centres across the six geopolitical zones where our activities are coordinated of ensuring the mopping up of illicit weapons from the society,” he added.
“You can attest that our efforts are yielding results, considering the volume of arms recovered in the past 18 months from south-south, south-east, north-central and north-west geopolitical zones of this country.”
According to the coordinator, useful metals from the destroyed arms would be given to appropriate government authorities for other uses.
Dikko assured that the confiscation of illegal arms would be a continuous process to ensure Nigeria’s long-term peace.
“It is a collective responsibility and efforts must be sustained, especially by members of the media, in this fight against the spread of small arms and light weapons in our society,” he said.
“The destruction of this over 3000 firearms would be a continuous occurrence until all nooks and crannies of this beautiful country are certified free of illicit small and light weapons.”
Dikko went on to say that local manufacturers of light weapons would be identified and integrated into the military industrial complex.