The Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, PRESCOM, has commenced a four-week national survey on the proliferation of illicit arms in Anambra State.
Programme Manager of PRESCOM, Mr. Dickson Orji told reporters in Awka yesterday that the mandate of the committee from the presidency was to curtail the menace of illicit arms in the country, adding that the exercise was being carried out in the 36 states of the federation.
Orji, who spoke through the Anambra State coordinator, Mr. Chris Oko, said the exercise was important because of its relationship with crime.
According to him, "The aim of this survey is to ascertain the true situation of the illicit circulation of SALWs in all the states of the federation by obtaining through a representative sampling process, scientific data on the subject for the purposes of articulating a National Programme of Action, NAP.
He called on residents of the selected communities in Anambra where the survey would be carried out to cooperate with its field researchers for ultimate goal and for common good of all the citizens of the country.
Orji explained that the said survey was being undertaken within the context of a regional survey programme initiated by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS .
He said the programme required the national agencies and commissions on SALW in member states to conduct their national action plan for combating the evils of proliferation in their respective countries, adding that PRESCOM was embarking on the project in partnership with a number of foreign and local consultants.
The local consultants, he said, were the Centre of Population and Environmental Development, CPED, the University of Benin, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Jos and MAXPRE as the lead Statistician and Data Analyst
He stated that each of these consultants had zonal and state coordinators as well as researchers and enumerators working with them in the 36 states and the FCT.
Orji further said that the critical parameters of the survey covered approximately 9,000 households, 300 representatives of Civil Society Organizations and 900 law enforcement officials from various security and law enforcement agencies.