From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has received international backing with a whopping 36 million Euro (N7.5 billion) from the European Union to fight drug related crime in Nigeria.
The fund will form efforts to improve law enforcement capacity in drug control and tackle organised drug –related crime by the country’s anti-drug agency.
The EU body announced the donation when it’s Ambassador, Michel Arrion, in company of the Country Representatives of United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ms. Mariam Sissoko’s visited the NDLEA headquarter in Ikoyi, Lagos yesterday.
Arrion said the donation will be spread for over a 50 months and will further assist the NDLEA on the project “Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crimes in Nigeria”, while the EU would also be involved in the training of the agency’s personnel.
According to him, the donation is to assist the NDLEA to support its policy formulation and improve drug legislation and coordination of the sector, improve law enforcement of capacity in drug control and tackling organised drug- related and to enhance drug prevention, treatment and care services adapted to Nigeria conditions.
To further boost the anti-drug agency’s capability to gather data, the EU also donated 100 desktop HP computers and 15 laptops for the agency, adding that this equipment is to also help it to have good information technology platform.
The Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, commended EU and UNODC for its support to drug control programmes in Nigeria, adding that EU’s donation demonstrates its willingness to assist countries in the implementation of International drug convention.
He said that the challenges posed by illicit drug cultivation ,trafficking and abuse are enormous, adding that NDLEA believe that through shared responsibility ,greater progress will be made in addressing the illicit drug phenomenon.