The Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria (SALW Action) on Tuesday inaugurated projects worth millions of naira in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River.
The projects include a Town Council Hall at Ikot Nkese community and a motorised borehole drilled at Akpap Okon community, all in Bakassi Local Government Area.
The projects sponsored by the European Union/ECOWAS are being implemented by Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment LITE-Africa (implementing partners).
SALW also donated a 40ft armoury tent (arms storage facility) to the Cross River State Command of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA at its State Command Headquarters in Calabar.
Dr Joel Bisina, Manager Finance/Admin, Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment LITE-Africa who was represented by Tolu Oyero, said the projects were micro-projects donated by SALW to boost development and bring sustainable peace.
“The projects will also assist in the prevention of illicit trafficking and flow of arms to enhance community security and peace in border communities in Nigeria, ” he said.
He further disclosed that there was provision for training of 150 livelihood beneficiaries in Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.
“Over fifty restive youths (Bakassi ex-militants), have so far been trained and empowered with start-up packs in various trades to enable them to kick-start their small and medium scale enterprises so, that they can become self-reliant for sustainable peace in the communities, ” he said.
He said that the projects donated under the action titled, “Management of Small Arms and Light Weapons, ” were initiated to boost development and bring about sustainable peace across the country.
“The ones in Cross River State have been trained with 50 given start-up packs which is the first batch.
“Micro projects are also part of it which includes the water, town hall, and armoury tent (arms facility donated to NDLEA) in Calabar.
“Apart from Bakassi, LITE-Africa is also working in Obudu and Boki Local Government Areas of the state, but the projects in these places are still ongoing and would be commissioned upon completion, ” he said.
In his remarks, the village head of Akpap Okon Ene Ita, chief Efiom Ita, who spoke on behalf of his community expressed happiness for the project execution.
He appealed to the organization to visit the community again with an electricity project to improve the standard of living of the people in the area.
Also speaking, the Zonal commander 14, NDLEA, Mrs. Anthonia Edeh, lauded the Eu/Ecowas for the project.
She urged the two international organizations to join hands with NDLEA in the fight towards putting an end to drug trafficking in Nigeria.