By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
Small arms proliferation and terrorist financing top the agenda as critical stakeholders of ECOWAS member-states converge on Abuja on December 7, 2017.
This is coming against the backdrop of terrorism-related violence, illegal proliferation of small Arms and light weapons, which have continued to assume a most dangerous dimension and a nightmarish proportion across the sub-region.
A statement by the communication adviser of National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS), Nwajei Kanayo, noted that while this narrative is reinforced by this scenario, from Liberia and Sierra Leon in the 1990s, and in recent years, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria, it has been regional violence and conflict and the sad stories of sorrows, tears and blood.
It noted that the issue of terrorism, insurgency, small arms and conflict in the sub-region take center-stage during this Parliamentary Conference, it justifies the compelling imperative on the 15-member states to articulate legislative actions to contain illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons and terrorist financing.
Kanayo said the Parliamentary Conference is expected to bring about the harmonization of policies and laws, strengthen regulatory frameworks and legislations, leading to considerable reduction of cross boarder crimes and terrorism.
According to him, the dialogue session and regional campaign on the prevalence of small arms and terrorist financing within the sub-region will be declared open by Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives and Chaired by Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), along with Moustapha Cise’Lo, Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament.
The conference is organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, (NILS) under the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) funded capacity building project, NILS Cap 2, in collaboration with ECOWAS Parliament and Nigeria’s Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).