-Nigeria hopes to Learn from Liberia’s experience
A 5-man delegation from the office of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, currently serving as the nucleus of the proposed Nigeria National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, arrived in the country over the weekend for a week long working and experiential learning visit with its counterpart, the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (LiCNSA).
James M. Fromayan, chairman of LiNCSA, who spoke to journalists at a press conference in Monrovia yesterday, said the purpose of the delegation’s visit is to do a week long case study that will enable them to transition from a presidential committee on small arms to a national commission on small arms.
Chairman Fromayan said as the Nigerian government tries to comply with the ECOWAS convention, which he said aims to establish a national structure that will oversee the management of small arms as regards the proliferation, prevention and eradication of light weapons in that country and the region, they saw it fit to visit Liberia to use it as a case study.
According to Fromayan, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana have made significant progress with respect to the standards set by ECOWAS, and with Liberia being one of the countries far ahead in this regard, the Nigerian government considered it prudent to come to Liberia to do a case study, he emphasized.
He said over the years Liberia has established a National Commission on Small Arms and has been working very hard to maintain its status by putting in place proper systems and working with national security agencies to ensure that small arms within the region are registered and tracked accordingly.
Fromayan re-emphasized that Ghana and Ivory Coast have also made significant progress as well.
He said the Nigerian government has a presidential committee on small arms (PRESSCOM) which is in transition to becoming a functional and fully fledged commission. And because Nigeria is determined to make sure that they establish such a body, they decided to come to Liberia, Fromayan declared.
“While they are here they will be visiting some key security institutions and some personalities within our society,” he said.
He said during the week-long tour Liberia will share experience with their Nigeria counterparts to provide the necessary technical knowledge that will enable them form a full commission on small arms.
Meanwhile, a retired General of the Nigerian Army, Olayinka Akinyemi Oshinowo, who is heading the five-man delegation, lauded the government of government for its efforts to successfully establish a capable commission.
General Oshinowo said he was so impressed with the level of work being done by LiNCSA and based on that it was important for them to visit Liberia to understand the technical aspects on how Liberia has made such significant progress in the prevention of the proliferation of small arms that Nigeria can learn from and adopt.
“We actually choose to come to Liberia because we knew that Liberia has been through bad times before in terms of arms circulation during the country’s civil conflict and now is a time we must start learning from Liberia.
“We are here to know the processes and the challenges you went through and the prospects, and how we will be able to interface with the government and other international organizations in the process of carrying out our assignments,” he said.
Oshinowo also stated that small arms and light weapons are like weapons of mass destruction, “because a single arm can create a lot of problems and as such we need to make sure that we get these out of the region. I hope that for this one week that we are going to stay here, there will be a lot that will be learned.”