Nigeria: One Million Light Weapons Circulating in Nigeria, Says NSA

17 December 2019

Abuja — The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) stated yesterday that of the 857 million Small and Light Weapons (SALW) in circulation globally and the 12 billion rounds of ammunition produced annually, 10 million are estimated to be in Africa with one million of them circulating in Nigeria.

This is coming as the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Adamu Mohammed, said the Nigerian Police recovered 2,037 firearms of various caliber and descriptions and 21,870 ammunition in 2019.

The figure on small and light weapons was contained in the National Security Strategy document formally presented to the public by the ONSA.

It said the weapons in circulation were connected with past and ongoing conflicts in West and North African countries.

"The proliferation of SALWs is a global phenomenon arising from conflicts across the globe. According to a survey conducted by the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, it is estimated that more than 857 million SALWs are currently in circulation aside from 12 billion rounds of ammunition produced annually.

"Of these, 10 million SALWs are estimated to be in Africa with one million of these in Nigeria. Proliferation of SALWs aid non-state actors like Boko Haram and bandits while undermining state monopoly of instruments of coercion.

"The threats posed by proliferation of SALWs are of such magnitude that a security strategy which contemplates the monitoring of their flow and use is required," he said.

Speaking at the formal presentation of the 2019 National Security Strategy (NSS) in Abuja, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), said the NSS was occasioned by the myriad of security challenges confronting the nation, notably, terrorism, kidnapping and banditry, among others.

He said the strategy relied on other documents earlier produced by the ONSA, including counterterrorism and cybercrime documents and the national defence strategy by the military.

The ONSA, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Policy and Strategy, Mr. Aminu Lawal, said the document was anchored on the tripartite agenda of government, essentially, the economy, security and the fight against corruption.

He urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to key into the strategy to ensure its successful implementation.

He said letters were written to MDAs and security agencies to be part of the review while the United States and the United Kingdom were also invited even as documents from UN and ECOWAS were also included.

Meanwhile, speaking at the end of the year conference with Commissioners of Police (CPs) in Abuja, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu , said 2,037 firearms and 21,870 ammunition were recovered in 2019.

"Between January 2019 to date, a total of 6,531 high profile suspects were arrested in various police operations. This comprises a total of 2,627 armed robbery suspects, 1,621 suspected cultists, 1,527 kidnapping suspects and 758 murder suspects.

"Within the same period, we also recovered a total of 2,037 firearms of various caliber and descriptions, 21,870 ammunition and 1,662 vehicles while 945 kidnap victims were rescued in various police-led operations in the country", he said.

Also yesterday, two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Creative Chambers and Chief Detective, have called for the promotion of a police officer, Chief Superintendent of Police, Udu Moses Ogechi, over his leading role in the coordination of the federal government's closure of Seme Border.

In letters written to the Minister of Police Affairs, Chairman Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Inspector-General of Police, two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Creative Chambers and Chief Detective recommended Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Udu Moses Ogechi, for promotion to the next rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) following his outstanding performance in leading the police operation that ensured the full implementation of federal government's decision to close the Seme Border.

The letter signed by Aderonke Akinnwumi, on behalf of Creative Chambers, said "CSP Ogechi's leadership role at the Seme Border has halted the activities of smugglers and earned the nation billions of naira and therefore urged the three authorities to promote him for exemplary performance.

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