EU Ambassador Hands Over Computers to NDLEA, Opens Project Office in Lagos

LAGOS, 24 SEPTEMBER 2014. On Wednesday, 24 September 2014, Michel Arion, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS handed over 100 desktop and 15 laptop computers to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Agency's headquarters in Lagos. Present at the occasion were Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA; Mrs. Roli Bode-George, Director-General NDLEA; Ms Mariam Sissoko, Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nigeria; other staff of the EU, UNODC and NDLEA, and the media.

In his address at the occasion, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade said regional and international cooperation is vital to global success in narcotics control and that the support being provided to NDLEA by the EU and UNODC is a good example of such cooperation. He said the EU intervention has brought about dynamic and positive changes to the operations of NDLEA and will further enhance the technical and operational capacity of frontline agencies, leading to targeted interventions on drugs and related organized crime in Nigeria.

The European Union is funding a large-scale project, "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria," which is being implemented by UNODC. The project is supporting Nigeria's efforts to fight illicit drug production, trafficking and use, and to curb related organized crime, including counterfeit narcotics and psychotropic substances. NDLEA is one of the key partners in the project. "A key output of the project is to increase the capacity of drug law enforcement agencies to prevent or interdict drug trafficking and related crime. Hence the need to enhance NDLEA's capacity to collect, analyze and share structured information," said Michel Arion.

Donation of the computers is part of the IT and equipment support by the project towards the development of a data exchange center at NDLEA headquarters and the establishment of an ICT platform across NDLEA Commands. It is expected to ultimately help transform NDLEA into an intelligence-led law enforcement agency.  "We are assisting NDLEA to become an intelligence-led organization equipped to deal with the challenges of the ever-changing drug industry. A lot has been achieved in less than two years of project implementation, but a lot more still remains to be done," said Mariam Sissoko.

Also during the handing over ceremony, Michel Arion officially opened a project support office provided to UNODC by NDLEA within its headquarters. The office space and furnishings were provided by NDLEA and it was renovated and equipped with funds from the EU. The office has been operational since February 2014.


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