Nigeria will host 53 African countries and 15 observer nations to discuss and develop strategies of combating drug trafficking and abuse in the continent.
The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, revealed this on Tuesday in Abuja.
Marwa, represented by the agency’s secretary, Mr Shadrach Haruna, said the Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies in Africa (HONLAF) would meet in Abuja from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29.
He said the conference will share intelligence, and agree on joint training and operations against international drug cartels in the continent .
Marwa recalled that during the last meeting of the forum in Nairobi, Nigeria brokered bilateral cooperation with a number of countries.
He said that the aim was to form a strong regional defence against transnational illicit drug organisations trying to establish bases in African countries.
According to him, the bilateral relationships have been crucial to NDLEA’s interdiction exercises in the past year.
The NDLEA chairman said HONLAF is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The Country Representative, UNODC, Dr Oliver Stolpe said the meeting was part of regional and national cooperation to reduce illicit production and cultivation of drugs.
“There will also be discussion on alternative development, an approach promoted by many countries; financial investigation in drug trafficking cases and the role of cryptocurrency in drug trafficking cases, and money laundering.”
Stolpe commended the operational successes of the NDLEA especially in destroying cannabis farms and manufacturing sites of other drugs like methamphetamine.
“It’s safe to say NDLEA has made great strides in confiscating the money and proceeds of drug crime; we’ll also look at how to follow the money and seize the immense riches accumulated in the drug trade,” the UNODC official added.