Disturbed by the rising level of insecurity in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded two executive bills to the Senate to control the proliferation of arms and regulate the importation and exportation of explosives in the country.
The Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021; and Explosives Bill 2021 were accompanied by two separate letters dated August 26 and 27, 2021, respectively.
The letters were read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber during the resumption of plenary by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan after two-month annual recess started in July by the lawmakers.
President Buhari, in the letter which accompanied the Explosives Bill 2021, explained that request for the consideration and eventual passage of the bill was made pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
According to him, “the Explosives Bill 2021 seeks to repeal the Explosives Act 1964 and enact the Explosives Act, to regulate the manufacture, storage, possession, use, distribution, purchase, sale, transportation, importation, and exportation of explosives and for related matters.”
In the second letter dated August 26, 2021, President Buhari requested the upper legislative chamber to consider the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021, as means to curb the spate of insecurity across the country.
The letter reads in part: “Pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021 for the kind consideration of the Senate.
“The Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021 seeks to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons into a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons under the office of the National Security Adviser.
“National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, when fully operational used, would go a long way at expressing Nigeria’s optimism and practical commitment to the global fight against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, including the mopping up of existing Small Arms and Light Weapons which have become a significant driver of insecurity across the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
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