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NDLEA reiterates commitment to rid society of illicit drugs

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
19 September 2022   |   4:05 am
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has reiterated commitment to maintain zero tolerance to criminality and rid the nation’s maritime space of drug trafficking.

[FILE] Commander of Narcotics, Marine Unit of NDLEA, Uzah Isaac (left), receiving seized Cannabis sativa from the Western Marine Customs Area Controller, Abubakar Umar, in Lagos… yesterday.<br />

Improper training reason for major boat mishaps, says NIWA

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has reiterated commitment to maintain zero tolerance to criminality and rid the nation’s maritime space of drug trafficking.

The Commander NDLEA, Marine Unit, Mr. Isaac Uzah, said the agency is working to ensure that the society is without all forms of drug abuse and illicit substances.
Uzah disclosed this during presentation of certificates and licence to officers, who have successfully completed the ‘Maritime Competency Training’ courses and examination, held in National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) office waterfront, Lagos.
The training was organised by the NDLEA and Metropolitan Waterways Concepts Limited, in partnership with the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.
The officers were trained on courses such as: Power Boat and RIB Master, Day Skippers, Coastal Yachts Master, Advance Boat Handling for Coastal Passage and Marine Radio Short Range Communication.
Speaking on the training, Uzah said the training was organised to keep the waterways safe, free of drugs and to address the menace of boat mishap.
He said: “Waterways are perceived by passengers as channels of death, despite government’s regulations and regular supply of life saving kits. The situation is made worse when crewmembers are inadequately trained. They cannot properly respond in the event of a disaster. All these  are  going to be history with the training of these officers.”
The area Manager of NIWA,  Sarat Lara Braimah, expressed optimism that the training would boost their activities on the waterways.
She described lack of proper training by skippers as responsible for the majority of boat mishaps in the country. Braimah said that most skippers claimed to be born and grew up on waterways or that their fathers were  boat skippers and that they acquired knowledge from them.
He said: “They don’t know that it goes beyond that. We have a lot of associations whose skippers were not trained and it is causing a lot of menace in our country. It’s a problem for the authorities because most of our boat mishaps are caused by human errors. When I say human error, I mean that most of our skippers are not well trained.
“They can only drive a boat but don’t know the signs and what it takes to be on Inland Waterways. We are pleased to have the support of the British Deputy High Commission in training the NDLEA officers. We will be glad if you could extend the training to other groups.”
On his part, President of Metropolitan Waterways Concepts Limited, Onikoyi Lateef Adio, said: “I have no doubt that the officers,  who attended the courses have gained a lot and their competency in boat handling has increased.

“We are very pleased with the support from British Deputy High Commission for the great opportunity given to the officers of the NDLEA by sponsored the training.”
Representative of the British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, Marie Maxwell, said that the training was part of the Commission’s contribution towards the war against drugs in Nigeria by NDLEA.
“We are happy to support NDLEA in the war against drugs. This training is part of our contribution towards developing their maritime capability to protect Nigeria from the threat of organised drug crime.
“In doing so, we are supporting the capacity building of sea port, land port and airport. We are very pleased with the huge success recorded by the NDLEA in the war against drugs.

“This particular training is part of the three-year programme of activities to develop detection and control capability to reduce the drug threat within Nigeria’s territorial waters. I look forward to seeing huge results from this training. Congratulations to all participating officers.”

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