By Uche Amunike
In a bid to eradicate one of the worst ills of society, drug trafficking, the Nigerian government has accepted to solidify her partnership with Saudi Arabia in the fight against illicit drug trafficking between the two countries.
To this end, a meeting was held in Abuja by Nigeria’s anti-narcotic agency, Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Saudi Arabian counterpart, General Directorate of Narcotics Control, (GDNC), where great emphasis was made on the gains in this synergy.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) and the representative of the GDNC, Colonel Nasir Hajid Al Otaibi during the meeting, centred their discussion on the benefits of the collabo between the two countries.
Spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi released a press statement where it was stated that the NDLEA boss welcomed the Saudi official saying how grateful he was for his visit.
He went on to extol him for all the support that the Saudi authorities have offered the Nigerian government in the past.
He proposed that a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) bordering on cooperation between the two agencies and fighting trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and its precursors to GDNC to be considered and signed like they did with the Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Gambia.
He convinced his Saudi guest that President Buhari has shown great support to the NDLEA as a way of helping her actualize her mandate, vision and mission.
‘This shows how the NDLEA takes the drug war very seriously’, he said.
He went on to ask the Saudi government for aids, especially in the areas of donating equipment like scanners, rehabilitation centres and forensic laboratories.
He also mentioned technical assistance, saying it will go a long way to help in fighting this ugly menace.
During his speech, the GDNC representative openly invited Marwa to pay a visit to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the sole purpose of the strengthening talks on different aspects of effective collaboration between the two anti-narcotic agencies.
The NDLEA boss accepted the invitation while hoping that the meeting in Saudi Arabia will end up giving the opportunity for the MoU to be signed on the collabo between the two anti-narcotics agencies.
Recall that in March, the NDLEA boss called for the strengthening of regional and international cooperation to handle the menace of drug trafficking during the 14th United Nations Congress on crime prevention and criminal justice in Kyoto, Japan.
He did mention to his global audience that the activities of drug dealers with their foreign counterparts have resulted in Nigeria losing over 400 million dollars to foreign clients, some of which are either stolen and expatriated by corrupt leaders and even multinational companies who have discovered new systems by strengthening their online criminal activities in order to be able to access the global shutdown of the normal trafficking routes following the COVID-19 scourge.