The Nigerian Navy has advised the Federal Government to build a protective wall at the nation’s borders to curtail the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country.
Navy Commodore Jemila Abubakar Sadik, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, said this at an interactive session organised by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on four bills relating to security at the National Assembly yesterday.
The four bills are: “A bill for an Act to establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (HB 10) “A bill for an Act to make provision for the integration of private Close Circuit Television (CCTV) and for Related Matters, 2019 (HB. 421) “A bill for an Act to repeal the Explosives Act,
And for Related Matters (HB 369 & HB 822) “A bill for an Act to designate the month of November as the National Appreciation for Security Agencies Month and for Related Matters (HB 1222).”
Making a presentation on behalf of the Navy, Commodore Sadik said: “Although the Berlin Wall has collapsed, I will advise that we build a wall around the country. We should also have serious surveillance, if not; we will not know peace in this country.”
She disclosed that most of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries do not have armouries to keep the guns donated to them hence some of their men especially those from Chad resort to selling them as low as $20 per gun to Nigerians whenever they are broke. The Naval Commodore said: “I was in charge as a member of the fight against Boko Haram and I can tell you categorically here, I stand to be corrected, that some of these countries that we have borders with have no armoury.
“They do not have armouries. So most of their arms that are being donated by (I wouldn’t want to be specific), the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems, are compounding our problems in Nigeria.”
Speaking, at the occasion the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said: “Two of these are executive bills, referred to the House of Representatives by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, in separate ways, all of them seek the same goal of making our country a safer place and ensuring that our people live without fear of molestation and victimization.
“Therefore, these bills are a priority for the House of Representatives. We will consider them thoroughly and with due haste. And we will engage with stakeholders and citizens alike to make sure that these bills in their final form serve their purpose.
“Shortly before the House recessed for our annual vacation, a bill to give full effect to the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons,
Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials passed second reading in the House of Representatives. That Bill, amongst other things, seeks to establish a National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. “With this new bill from the Executive, we now have two bills in the House seeking to achieve similar objectives.
These bills should not be considered independently of each other. To the extent that their goals are the same, the two responsible committees on National Security and Intelligence and Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements will work together to achieve the objectives of these bills.”
Earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Hon. Ibrahim Shaa’aban Sharada (APC, Kano) assured that every stakeholder would be given ample opportunity to make inputs on the bills.