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NDLEA, Nigeria Customs sign MoU to curb illicit drugs, substance abuse

L-R: Brig-Gen. Mohammed Marwa (Rtd.), Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA; Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.), Controller General, Nigerian Customs Service; and Shedrach Haruna, Secretary of NDLEA, at the Signing of MoU, in Abuja, FCT Photo: The Guardian

*Mohammed Buba Marwa, Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, assures the citizenry the agreement will provide an effective defence line at various ports of entry/exit to prevent the influx of offensive, illegal materials and substances to enhance national security, economic progress and stability in the country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As a measure to deepen anti-narcotics offensives and ensure drugs-free  society for Nigerians, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd.), Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS),   have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

The move is designed to to inflict maximum loss on drug cartels to the detriment of Nigeria and Nigerians.

ConsumerConnect learnt Marwa, who spoke at a brief ceremony held at the NDLEA National Headquarters, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Abuja, expressed delight at the decision of the two regulatory agencies to document their working relationship in an MoU.

The NDLEA Chief stated that the new agreement has huge benefits to the West African country, The Guardian report said.

He also commended Col. Ali for his excellent record of performance as Customs CG and his past years of public service in the Nigerian Army.

“I have always known Col. Ali as a patriotic, hardworking and disciplined officer with excellent track record of achievements.

“This is certainly a benchmark for information and/ or intelligence sharing. It is also a platform for sharing of operational and administrative experiences with a view to adopting best practices that work,” Marwa said.

He noted: “With this united front, there can only be one assurance that the criminal elements in our society will definitely be the losers.

“I assure you that they will certainly lose big, as we come to put them where they rightly belong and cripple their crime syndicates.

“While there is no doubt as to the benefits that this MoU will provide to our two services and the nation at large, it is my hope that its successful execution and implementation will provide the necessary impetus for extension to other sister law enforcement agencies (LEAs) operating at our airports, seaports and land borders.”

Marwa further assured that “on this basis, it is imperative to drive the implementation of the MoU to ensure that its objectives and derivable are achieved.

“Therefore, on behalf of the NDLEA, I assure you of our commitment to this MoU and intend to provide all the necessary support required to drive the implementation process in order to ensure the realisation of all accruable benefits.

“As it is usually said, together we stand and remain undefeatable.”

Significance of MoU between NDLEA, NCS

Marwa disclosed the MoU document contains a number of innovations that would encourage interpersonal relationship among the rank and file as well as at the various levels of Command and Administration of the two organisations.

He also stated: “It provides for joint training of personnel just as it makes provisions for regular meetings of Command officers at various levels of our Command structures.

“These are the meetings of Commanders/Comptrollers of the various relevant formations, at the relevant directorates/departments of the national headquarters and at the highest level of policy making between the Comptroller-General of Customs and my office, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, which is expected to take place at least twice a year.”

Marwa also said: “The expected outcome of these series of interactions is to foster better understanding of the respective roles and mandates of our two organisations and how they complement one another in a mutually inclusive way.

“The ultimate objective is to dissolve suspicion, friction and general interagency rivalry that does not do our nation any good in terms of effectively securing the entry and exit points of our dear country.

“This will provide an effective defence line at our various ports of entry/exit to prevent the influx of offensive materials and substances that undermine our national security, and ensure that our national assets are not smuggled out to undermine our economic progress and stability,.”

It’s a game-changer, commitment to saving consumers from drugs, other substances, says Ali

Speaking at the event, Ali, who also applauded Marwa for initiating the MoU, said: “This is sending a very strong signal to fighting crime.

“We believe that coming together shows commitment to saving this nation from drugs and other substances.

“I want to take this special opportunity to thank my senior for initiating this MoU.”

The CG also said: “I must say something, he is a very committed person.

“It is not new to us in the uniform to see his strides, for those who have had the opportunity to serve with him.

“He is a game-player and game-changer.”

Ali further related “when my attention was drawn to this initiative, I knew this was the Marwa trend.

“I thank him for initiating this event, and creating an avenue for us to synergise and come up with a veritable way for fighting drug abuse in this nation.

“The essence of our being here has been underscored by my brother, but I want to reiterate that our coming together does not send a signal only to our nation but to the international partners, that we are committed to protecting our borders from illicit drugs.”

He noted: “We have all along been doing this, finding drugs in the borders, but thank God the sole responsibility has been removed from us, and we have some relief. “What we do now is that when we arrest the suspects, we hand them over to the NDLEA, where they will be pursued, investigated, and punished severely.

“The coming of Marwa has given us confidence that the suspects will be handled accordingly.”

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