No fewer than 35 officers of the Marine Command and Seaports Operations of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have undergone diverse pieces of training organized by the United Kingdom Home Office International Operations, HOIO, in recent weeks. Of the number, five are currently undergoing a two-week Maritime Patrol and Tactical Coxswain training by the UK’s Central Maritime Training Unit based in Southampton.
The pieces of training, according to the HOIO, are to enhance the border control capabilities of the NDLEA by providing specialized training, mentoring, and advanced drug detection equipment. Key areas covered so far include boat handling, weapons handling, riverine operations, boarding, and vessel search, among many others. Some of the pieces of training have been facilitated by the British Military, Nigerian Navy, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the Global Maritime Crime Program (GMCP).
The ongoing two-week training of five NDLEA marine officers including their first female coxswain will enable them to plan maritime deployments and pursue, stop, and board vessels on the high seas.
While thanking the UK government for its continued support and commitment to helping the NDLEA to enhance its capacity and capabilities to tackle drug trafficking, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) urged the officers to remain steadfast in their professional calling and ensure they bring to bear the essence of the training on their formations and colleagues. He assured them that he will continue to prioritize training and retraining for all officers, men, and women of the Agency.
Kris Hawksfield, the Home Office International Operations Regional Manager for West Africa in his remark during his visit to the team undergoing training in Southampton stated that HOIO was immensely proud and honoured to work with and support the work of NDLEA. He added that the UK remains committed to strengthening the mutually beneficial work of the Agency to interdict, seize and destroy illicit substances and drugs which would otherwise harm Nigeria and the UK.
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters Abuja