THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combat drug trafficking in the country.
The Chairman of the NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa and the Comptroller General of the NCS, Hameed Ali, signed the MOU on Tuesday, April 4, at the NDLEA Headquarters in Abuja.
In his brief remarks at the ceremony, Marwa expressed delight at the decision by the two government agencies to document their working relationship in an MoU, even as he listed the vast benefits of such to the country.
He specifically commended Ali for his excellent performance record as Customs CG and his past years of public service in the Nigerian Army, especially as military governor of Kaduna State.
“This is certainly a benchmark for information and or intelligence sharing. It is also a platform for sharing operational and administrative experiences with a view to adopting best practices that work.
“With this united front, there can only be one assurance that the criminal elements in our society will definitely be the losers, and I assure you that they will certainly lose big as we come for them 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 an extension to other sister law enforcement agencies (LEAs) operating at our airports, seaports and land borders.
“On this basis, it is imperative to drive the implementation of the MoU to ensure that its objectives and derivable are achieved,” Marwa stated.
He assured the public of the commitment of the NDLEA to the MoU and promised to provide all the necessary support required to drive the implementation process to ensure the realization of all accruable benefits.
While stating the great significance of the MoU, Marwa said the document contains several innovations that will encourage interpersonal relationships amongst the rank and file and at the various levels of command and administration of the two organizations.
“The expected outcome of these series of interactions is to foster a better understanding of the respective roles and mandates of our two organizations 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,” he added.
He said the agreement would provide a good defence line at various ports of entry and exit to prevent the influx of offensive materials and substances that undermine national security.
In his own remarks, the CG of Customs Ali praised Marwa for initiating the MoU.
Ali said the MoU will send a very strong signal in the fight against 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.
“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 synergize and come up with a veritable way to fight 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.”
Ali added that the Customs had been involved in finding drugs in the borders and expressed happiness that the sole responsibility has been removed from the agency.
He expressed the commitment of the Nigerian Customs Service to the implementation of the MoU and noted that the two agencies must invest in technology to fight the drug menace.