Plateau State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Dan Manjang, has vowed to collaborate with Defense Headquarters in identifying blacksmiths who fabricates local arms for training with a view to producing legal arms and ammunition for Nigerian military.
Manjang said the idea was to mop out illegal arms and control the proliferations of locally-made firearms which have compounded insecurity in the state.
The commissioner disclosed this, on Thursday, in Jos , the state capital, while taking over as the newly-appointed Commissioner for Science and Technology, Plateau State.
Manjang, who was the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Simon Lalong, said he would revisit the amnesty programme which was declared last year by the governor and was not fully implemented.
Said he, “As a way of providing employment for youths in Plateau, we will identify blacksmiths whom we know are engaged into the fabrication of illegal arms and partner with the Defense Headquarters in their training to enable them produce legally arms and ammunitions for the Nigerian Army. When these people are satisfied, the will become employee of the Defense Headquarters.”
“This matter was raised by the former Commander of the Special Task Force (STF) in charge of internal security in Plateau, Major General Rogers Nicholas, that these boys who fabricates illegal arms should be identify and train them in collaboration with the Defense Headquarters for legal activities.”
Manjang said the move would create employment opportunities for those involved and control the proliferation of illegal arms in the state which has encouraged armed robbery, kidnapping and killing of innocent persons across the country by suspect gunmen.
He said the state government would harness and equip students of Government Technical College Bukuru, in Jos South Local Government Area, with technological skills to enable them fabricate locally-made products that would advance science and technology in the state.
Manjang stressed that there would be a science and technology summit which would bring together technocrats across the country to marshal out science and technology blueprint for Plateau State, where students have fabricated tractors, vehicles and other products that were exhibited before Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.