Woyongo pushes for licensing of small arms manufacturers

The Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo is pushing for the activities of small arms manufacturers in the country to be regularized.

Mr. Woyongo, therefore, supports calls for people in that industry to be given the necessary training to produce weapons for the country to save the government from spending foreign currencies to procure the arms abroad for the various security agencies.

He was speaking at a meeting with officials of the Small Arms Commission in Accra, Tuesday.

“I’m sure if we organize this thing properly [and] bring in some foreign investors to team up with the local industry to produce these weapons, there will not be the need for us to use foreign exchange to import these weapons.”

“I think we should formalize them [and] get some investors to come and help improve on the production of these arms and then we are able to put some surveillance on the production and sale of these arms,” the Minister proposed.

“We can export them to other countries and it’s only when we are able to lay surveillance on the production and the distribution that we can put sanity in the acquisition of guns,” he added.

Chairman of the Small Arms Commission, Lt. Col. Seth Ohene Asare (Retired), believes the proposal is feasible but adds that some major structures must be put in place first.

“These lethal precision instruments must also meet international standards…Who has tested the metallurgy to see that it can stand the strain and stress of modern ammunition?

“This crude may be a basis for a future sophisticated weapon industry [but] let’s start with putting the infrastructure in place,” he said.

It emerged at the meeting that some of these local manufacturers are even able to repair sophisticated weapons of the military, when they developed faults.

Lt. Col. Asare, however, disclosed the Commission has identified some groups with which they would grant a license to ensure the quality of weapons they manufacture was not compromised.

“We have started by identifying these Blacksmith Association to give the license to them to have an identifiable body so that they can hold them responsible in case a product is substandard”. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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