By Kenneth Ehigiator
Lagos—The European Commission is currently discussing with the Federal Government on how to check the problems of drug trafficking, piracy, armed robbery, illegal fishing and arms dealings in the Gulf of Guinea.
Leader of the European Commission currently on a visit to Nigeria, Olivier Villedieu De Torcy, made this known weekend when the team visited the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in Lagos.
He said his team also had plans to visit other countries within the Gulf of Guinea in order to strike a synergy among all the interested parties, with a view to stamping out the problems in the area.
According to him, the Gulf of Guinea has become the route through which drug barons across the world infiltrate West and Central Africa with illicit drugs.
De Torcy said: “We are on a fact finding mission on how to tackle drug trafficking, piracy, illegal arms dealing, illegal fishing and the state of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.”
He said his team had already visited Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon before coming to Nigeria.
He said the mission of the team of experts includes an assessment of existing plans at regional levels to address the problem and as well as aggregate the interest of visiting countries in supporting security initiative in the region.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, who received the EC experts, thanked them for the visit which he described as timely.
He noted that the Gulf of Guinea was an important region to Nigeria and the world, adding that Nigeria had long been working on peace initiatives for the Gulf of Guinea in line with the United Nations’ political declaration.
According to him, the NDLEA had also participated in various round table sessions aimed at addressing the issue.
Giade said: “We welcome this move by the European Commission in the implementation of peace plan in the Gulf of Guinea. It will further strengthen existing efforts to address the nagging issues of drug trafficking and insecurity in the region.”