From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), have agreed to join forces in order to rid Nigerian ports of criminal elements.
Both agencies also agreed to remove operational bottlenecks and corruption at the nation’s ports.
The Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs, NDLEA, Deputy Commander of Narcotics, Jonah Achema, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the resolution was the consensus between the NDLEA and the Shippers Council who are critical stakeholders in port operations during a courtesy visit by the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the NSC, Mallam Hassan Bello to NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd).
Speaking during the visit, Marwa commended the NSC for the bold steps taken to modernize operations at the ports.
Marwa said: “In the era of round-the-clock operations, your digitalization of activities at the ports is commendable. I would like to assure you that we at NDLEA are committed to ideals of Ease of Doing Business. This can be appreciated from our last seizure of 43 kilograms of Cocaine in a ship which berthed at Tin Can Island Ports and the promptness of our subsequent actions after due diligence.
“Our mandate is to prevent and detect drug criminalities. Most other criminalities, be it terrorism, kidnapping, assassination and a host of others are traceable to drug abuse. The seaport is one of the trafficking routes. As we undertake the task, we will move with greater efficiency.”
In his remarks, Bello said the appointment of Marwa inspired confidence in the NDLEA operations.
Bello also said Marwa’s appointment has been validated with increased drug seizures across the country.
“We know you as an agent of change. You are a transformational leader and you have always given your best to the country. We are not surprised at what you have been able to achieve in barely three weeks that you assumed leadership,” Bello said.
Bello also said: “There is no better time than now for NSC and NDLEA to forge this synergy because of the growing need to promote transparency, accountability, ensuring predictability and eliminate bottlenecks.”
Bello added: “Our operational efficiency at the nation’s seaports will impact the ranking of Nigeria in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International.”
Bello further emphasized that the onerous duty of the NDLEA was recognized by NSC, as well as globally, saying that NDLEA was a product of international convention.
He called for collaboration between the counter-narcotics agency and other agencies operating at the ports to curtail disjointed operations.