ECOWAS and National Commission on Small Arms Hold Annual meeting in Abuja27 Jan, 2018
buja, 26th January 2018. The Government of Nigeria has set up a committee to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to the prescribed National Commission (NATCOM).
This was revealed by the PRESCOM chairman Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe at the Regional Coordination Meeting of the National Commissions of ECOWAS Member States in Abuja on the 24th of January 2018.
Ambassador Imohe said that the decision to fast-track the process was a sign of the commitment of the government to fight the illicit proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) not only in Nigeria but also in the region working with other ECOWAS member states and development partners.
On Boko Haram he noted that because of the regional dimension of the problem, it is not possible for any one nation to tackle the problem. So he urged ECOWAS member states to step up their collaboration efforts in order to contain the problem
Ambassador Imohe added that the quest for development in Nigeria and the region can only be guaranteed in an atmosphere free off crisis and conflicts. He lauded ECOWAS Commission for the creating the platform for MS to interact, share information and promote best practices in the fight against the illicit proliferation of SALW.
In her welcome address, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mrs Halima Ahmed, the represented by the Director for Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Dr. Cyriaque Agnehethom, informed participants of the highlight of the activities engaged in by ECOWAS in the fight against proliferation of SALW.
She recalled that the previous week, the Small Arms Division hosted experts in its effort to develop the regional database and national register which are key tools in sustaining and winning he fight against the proliferation of SALW.
She also recalled the on-going ECOWAS-EU Small Arms Project which is being implemented in seven Member states of Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Also mentioned was the European Union (EU) funded Physical Security and Stockpile Management project (PSSMP). He expressed gratitude to the EU for its support through the 10th EDF which made this possible.
Mr. Jonas Paka, Permanent Secretary of the National Commission of Togo, expressed satisfaction on the existence of the platform and in particular that ECOWAS was able to make the annual meeting happen since the last one in which was held in Calabar two years ago. Mr. Paka charged participants to make the best of the meeting so that all delegates will fully appreciate its essence.
Among recommendations made at the meeting was for ECOWAS to continue the facilitation of the hosting of the PSSM Training Programme.
Funded by the EU, the meeting was also attended by representatives of UNIDIR, UNDP, the Bonn International Conversion Centre, GIZ, ICRC as well as the German Verification Centre.