Buhari establishes NCCSALW in office of National Security Adviser

President Muhmmadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser.

President Muhmmadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser.

A statement issued Monday by the Personal Assistant to President Buhari on New Media, said the NCCSALW replaces the defunct Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons and shall serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Nigeria.

The statement added that this decision is part of ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture to address emerging threats and strengthen regional mechanism for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW.

The impact of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region has resulted in terrorism, human trafficking, organized crime, and insurrections in West Africa and Nigeria.

Therefore, as one of the measures in tackling this threat, the new Centre will be fulfilling the requirements of the ECOWAS Moratorium on Import, Export, and Manufacture of Light Weapons as well as the UN Plan of Action to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW.

The NCCSALW will serve as the National Focal Point on SALW in Nigeria and lead a multi-stakeholder process involving Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and the Civil Society in implementing all national, UN and ECOWAS Plans of Action on the control of SALW.

The Centre will maintain international cooperation and also operate zonal offices in the Six Geopolitical Zones to ensure quick response and effective mobilization of resources.

The pioneer National Coordinator, Rtd Major General AM Dikko has served in various capacities in and outside Nigeria. He was a Course Director at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre and Chief Instructor of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre.

He was also a Military Adviser, United Nation Office for West Africa, Director Peacekeeping Operations Defence Headquarters, Commander Operations LAST HOLD as well as Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, to mention a few.

The pioneer Coordinator has vast experience working with the ECOWAS and the UN system and is expected to operationalize the objectives of the NCCSALW.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.