The house of representatives has passed for a second reading a bill that seeks to end the proliferation of small arms in the country.
The bill seeks to create the National Commission against Proliferation of Small and Light Weapons. It is a consolidation of two bills sponsored by Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house, and Nnenna Ukeji, from Abia.
The bill promotes the removal of arms from the society, through the collection, storage, destruction, management and stockpiling of small arms.
Speaking at plenary on Wednesday, Ukeji said there are reportedly over 500 million illegal weapons in West Africa, with 70 percent of them in Nigeria.
She said there is the need to create the commission as Nigeria and Gambia are the only nations without such commission in West Africa.
The commission, according to her, will regulate the local manufacturing of light weapons, registration of arms to be used in peacekeeping operations and establish programs of action to combat the illicit trade in small arms.
Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house, however, faulted the bill as lacking in some areas. He said as important as the bill is, it fails to make provision for punishment to offenders of the law.
Thereafter, the lawmakers passed the bill for second reading and referred it to the committee on national security and intelligence.