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Eu, Ndlea, Nafdac Join Hands In Fight Against Drug Trafficking With Operational Vehicles

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, February 17, (THEWILL) – The European Union (EU) has donated vehicles to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in the agencies' fight against drug abuse and trafficking.

This support is part of an ongoing project, Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crime in Nigeria,' funded by the EU, while the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the technical partner.

The presentation was made at the UN House Abuja by Richard Young, EU Deputy Head of Delegation.

The Toyota Hilux vehicles were distributed based on the outcome of an assessment carried out on the agencies. Ten of the vehicles were given to NDLEA and one to NAFDAC.

According to Young, the objective of the EU project is to support the country's fight against narcotics.

“This project is to support Nigerian government in its efforts to fight illicit drug production, trafficking and use. It is also to curb related organised crime, including counterfeit narcotics and psychotropic substances,” Young said.

The EU envoy listed some of the achievements of the project in the last one year to include the review and implementation of the National Drug Control Master Plan, strategic drug control approach, 29 law enforcement training courses, training of 1,000 health practitioners in charge of drug abuse treatment and care as well as school-based enlightenment programmes.

UNODC country representative, Cristina Albertin, said the result of priority operational needs assessment recommended that the bulk of the vehicles be given to NDLEA.

“The assessment found NDLEA to be in dire need of operational resources to sustain its mandate. One of the key operational resources lacking was a vehicle with which to effectively patrol the borders, transport officers to critical areas and conduct surveillances on drug trafficking suspects. This significantly hampered its ability to effectively combat drug trafficking within Nigeria.”

NDLEA chairman, Muhammad Abdallah, thanked the EU UNODC and other partners for the donation, which he said was one of several benefits of the project.

“I sincerely thank the EU, UNODC and other partners for the priceless benefits of collaborating with them. The vehicles will no doubt help to boost our operation in drug control.”

Story by David Oputah