The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mohamed Buba Marwa, has sought collaboration with other African countries to combat illicit drug trafficking and abuse.
According to Marwa, effective intelligence sharing and increased cooperation among African nations will help the continent overcome the daunting problem of illicit drug trafficking and abuse. This was stated by the NDLEA chairman on Wednesday during the 30th Conference of Heads of Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa (HONLEA) in Kenya.
Marwa briefed the meeting on Nigeria’s progress in combating drug abuse and trafficking in illegal substances, and urged other countries to establish a national coordination system to ensure coordinated action against the problem.
He claims that the coordination of all stakeholders by the national drug focal agency is the starting point for putting an end to illicit drug tracking and abuse, and that Nigeria has consistently made significant efforts to address its drug problems.
“The starting point is the harnessing of all the stakeholders by the national drug focal agency. Through this national coordination and collaborative effort,” Marwa said
The NDLEA chairman noted that “the global drug problem has placed higher demands on countries to work round the clock to achieve this goal and consolidate the achievements recorded” and he urged for regional and sub-regional collaboration.
“This noble objective could be realized with the creation of an informal network of HONLEA contact persons to complement and enhance the real-time exchange of intelligence or operational information. It will also enhance more robust activities all year round,” he said
He urged countries at the sub-regional level should endeavour to establish groups like HONLEA for strengthened collaboration under the auspices of the regional economic communities noting that the global drug crisis has placed more obligations on governments to work round-the-clock.
“The HONLEA platform offers unlimited opportunities, and it is imperative to maximize these amazing benefits by completing it with a practical form of cooperation such as the suggested HONLEA Informal Network of Contact Persons,
“This would enable regular bilateral meetings, training programs, exchange of intelligence, and the conduct of joint operations at sub-regional and regional levels if need be.”
Marwa noted that Nigeria has taken practical steps to deepen collaboration at both national and international levels in countering the world drug problem in line with the principle of common and shared responsibility.
“This was done through bilateral visitations and discussions that culminated in the signing of Memorandums of Understanding with countries and organizations. Thus, Nigeria’s statement is anchored on the need to deepen collaboration to fighting a common challenge as the world is taken by storm with the exponential increase in drug trafficking and use”, he added.
Marwa also stated that a vibrant platform will facilitate the speedy dismantling of drug trafficking cartels across Africa.