…Supports NATCOM

…Says NATCOM’ll Create 270,000 Jobs

The Arewa Youth Civil Society Network, AYCSN, has commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Nigerian National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Establishment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 283); the Nigerian National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Establishment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 513); and The National Centre for the Coordination and Control of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 794).

THE AYCSN also commended the disbandment of the National Task Force on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism, NATFORCE.

Recall that the Federal Government has disbanded the NATFORCE, in an announcement by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, while briefing State House Correspondents after the National Security Council, NSC, meeting in Abuja on Thursday, because it is now transformed to National Task Force on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism, NATCOM.

Recall also that the National Assembly has passed the NATCOM Bill as part of the ECOWAS Treaty on Small Arms Ammunition and Chemical Weapons.

The new NATCOM, which bill was passed by the National Assembly is headed by the Director-General, DG, Dr Baba Mohammed, hence disbandment of NATFORCE as it is NATCOM now.

The youth group therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign these bills into law, considering the importance and the over increasing population of Nigeria.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the coordinator, Zakari Hashim, described the passage of these important bills as overwhelming, hence the urgent need for ascent by Mr President to make them laws.

Hashim praised the leadership qualities of the NATCOM DG, Dr. Mohammed for reviving the agency and according to him, it is now fully back to life with the new development, with the just pronounced disbandment of NATFORCE by the Federal Government.

Speaking further, the coordinator added, “You will agree with us that the population of Nigeria, which is increasing on a daily basis, needs an upward review in term of manpower of the country’s security agents,” pointing out that without any iota of doubt, the current manpower of the Nigerian security sector is overstretched.

He lamented that a country with more than 200 million population is not having up to 1.5 million security personnel, insisting that this call for alacrity reflection.

He said, “Due to this overwhelmed population and inadequate manpower, this has aided free and easy proliferation of light and non-light weapons across the country; and the most worrisome part of this time bomb is non-availability of any agency that is saddled with the responsibility of checkmating this menace that has suddenly turned to a cankerworm.

The Nigerian National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Establishment) Bill, 2020(SB. 283); the Nigerian National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Establishment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 513); and The National Centre for the Coordination and Control of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 794) seek to provide for the establishment of a government body that will be saddled with combating the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.

The functions of the body shall be in line with Article 24 of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Convention on the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, which came into force in 2009.

The youth group coordinator added, “We are happy that with the disbandment of the NATFORCE by the National Security Council, as briefed by the honorable Minister of Interior, Raufu Aregbesola, this will automatically birth a new light and singanage of the NATCOM bill, receiving attention by Mr.President. We commend the leadership of the National Assembly for the momentum and timely passage of the bills in order to arrest the current security situation in the country.

“The proposed legal framework to establish the National Commissions on Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism, NATCOM, under the leadership of Dr Baba Mohammad, if signed into law will, create over 270,000 jobs for unemployed Nigerian youth and will address the shortfall of security agents and strengthen internal security to ensure illegal importation of weapons by disgruntled elements in the Northern Nigerian and the country at large is nope in the bud.

“We therefore call on all stakeholders to keep foresight and be vigilant to curtail this time bomb.”

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