President Goodluck Jonathan has promised Nigeria’s commitment to the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) of April 2013.
The President spoke yesterday at a three-day National Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum on Illicit Arms and Light Weapons, which opened on Monday in Abuja.
Represented by the Minister of Interior Abba Moro, the President said the ATT was in the best interest of Africa.
He urged countries that had not implemented the ATT in Africa to do so to fast-track its implementation.
Mr Kadre Ouedraogo, the President of ECOWAS Commission, said the adoption of the ATT was one of the greatest achievements since the creation of the UN.
Represented by Mrs Khadi Saccoh, ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance, Ouedraogo congratulated Nigeria on being the second member to ratify the treaty, after Mali.
Amb. Emmanuel Imohe, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), said the committee was focused on mopping up excess weapons in Nigeria.
Other areas of focus are preventing entry of SALW, improving stockpile management, regulating brokers, monitoring local manufacturers and reviewing existing legislations, among others.
Illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons had been blamed on the 12 major conflicts in Africa between 2000 and 2009.
The arms were not mopped up during subsequent demobilisation, disarmament and rehabilitation.