The United States and the United Kingdom governments have pledged more support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) after expressing satisfaction with the successes recorded by the new leadership of the agency in just eight weeks in the saddle.
Consul General, US Consulate, Lagos, Claire Pierangelo and the British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones said this on Tuesday during the donation of a speedboat to the NDLEA.
In a statement made available by the Director Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, in Abuja, Pierangelo expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Chairman, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) in just eight weeks on the seat.
She assured that the US government would be willing to collaborate and give more support to the lead anti-drug agency in Nigeria in view of the dynamism and efficiency that have been brought into the operations of the agency.
In his remarks, the Deputy British High Commissioner, Llewellyn-Jones, said the UK government was pleased with the series of illicit drugs seized by the NDLEA at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
Llewellyn-Jones added that the seizures at the Tincan seaport and the Apapa seaport, all in Lagos, soon after Marwa came on board as the Chairman of the NDLEA were commendable.
He said with the renewed vigour brought into the war against illicit drugs in Nigeria and the successes recorded between January and now, the UK would be glad to offer more support to the Agency.
He added that the handing over of the patrol boat was a significant indication of the support.
“Since your appointment, there has been a flurry of activities. There have been huge seizures across commands.
“The cocaine seizure at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport was massive and for this, NDLEA must be recognised and commended.
“We will continue to give you all the necessary support. We must continue to work on our relationship to make sure that the current situation continues,” he stated.
In his response, the NDLEA boss assured the British government that the boat would be put to good use, while thanking them for their investment and support for the war against illicit drugs in the country.
“I want to appreciate the American and the British governments for the support given to the NDLEA over the years in terms of intelligence sharing, training, equipment and other logistics, and most especially since my assumption of duty as the Chairman of the NDLEA.
“Let me state categorically that with the new vigour and vigilance of our men and officers at the seaports, airports, and land borders, which recently resulted in huge seizures.
“I am aware that drug traffickers have now turned to our waterways across the borders to bring in drugs.
“With the donation of this boat today, I’ll like to warn that the time is up for them also on our waterways because from now they have the NDLEA to contend with there and we’ll deal decisively with them if they fail to back out of the criminal trade,” he stated.