Tinubu Urged To Sign NATCOM Bill Into Law

Civil Society Groups for Good Governance (CSGGG) coalition has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sign the National Commission for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NATCOM) Bill into law to enhance national security.

The appeal came amidst growing concerns about national security and the proliferation of illegal firearms.
The coalition’s president, Chief Ogakwu Dominic, made the call yesterday in Abuja. Quoting Rohini Nilekani, he stated, “We cannot be mere consumers of good governance; we must be participants; we must be co-creators.”

The group underscores this sentiment, emphasising the critical role that NATCOM could play in curbing illegal arms and creating economic opportunities and employment for Nigerian youths.

Dominic said NATCOM is envisioned as a pivotal institution to restrain the illicit trade of firearms while generating revenue and providing employment for over 7,000 unemployed youths in each state.
He noted that if operational, the commission is expected to self-fund and provide substantial financial packages to over 10,000 graduates without government appropriations.

He highlighted the devastating consequences of uncontrolled weapons proliferation, which fuels violence, insecurity, and economic instability.

“The illegal circulation of arms trade fuels violence and insecurity. It empowers criminals, disrupts communities, and creates a climate of fear,” he said.

Dominic emphasised that the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) has been a significant factor in Nigeria’s security challenges, leading to increased banditry, kidnapping, and other violent crimes.

He noted that the NATCOM Bill, passed by the National Assembly, proposes the establishment of a specialised commission to address these issues comprehensively.
The group’s plea emphasises that signing the NATCOM Bill enhances security and aligns with international and regional conventions such as the United Nations Protocol on Firearms and the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

He said by doing so, Nigeria would reaffirm its commitment to these agreements and take a significant step towards addressing the national security threat posed by illegal arms.
He reiterated that the bill promises substantial economic benefits by creating a safer environment conducive to investment, sustainable development, and security gains.

He stressed that NATCOM’s operational activities are expected to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and encourage local businesses to expand.

He furthermore said the commission is projected to complement existing security outfits such as the Police, Customs, Civil Defence, Immigration, and the Military, enhancing overall effectiveness through collaboration and information-sharing.

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