The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100 percent Compliance Team has struck a partnership in order to win the war against drug abuse at Lagos ports.
Both groups reached this agreement when the NDLEA Commander of Narcotics, Tin Can Island Port, Commander, Aminu Abubakar payed a courtesy visit to the NAGAFF 100 percent Compliance Team in Lagos, yesterday.
At the event, the NDLEA boss warned all freight forwarders and their workers operating at the seaports to desist from the importation and spread of hard drugs in the country, stressing that the effects have been very harmful to the nation.
Abubakar noted that since the NDLEA launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) in Abuja, several seizures have been made during cargo examination at the ports with many freight forwarders arrested and jailed for being involved or accomplices in the importation of hard drugs.
He stated that from January 2022 till date, the agency has intercepted 1500 Kilograms of Tapendatol with a value of over N6million amongst others at the seaports. According to him, Tapendatol is another type of Tramadol drug which is more potent and dangerous than the usual Tramadol.
While calling for the support and cooperation of the NAGAFF Compliance Team, Commander Abubakar stated that freight forwarders should desist from the spread of hard drugs through the seaports but stick to their legitimate duties.
His words: “The agency has different units and strategies through which we fight the menace and monster of drug abuse, drug trafficking into our country. This is the suppression of the supply of drugs which we do at the seaports. We profile some containers at the seaports and base on the profile, we target such consignment and ensure we conduct proper examination. Sometimes we work with intelligence information or on the basis of profile which informs what we do.”
“The agency has some strategies which include counselling drug abusers and public enlightenment on the effects and prevention of drug abuse. There are also rehabilitation centers. The Chairman of the NDLEA recently launched call centers which would soon be operational, where you can report issues or seek for help. This is what WADA is about.”
“We have gotten 1500 kilograms of Tapendatol drug worth over N6million from Apapa and Tin Can ports. We can only imagine what it will do if it gets to places where it is intended. Nigeria is already in crisis. We have the problem of banditry, kidnappings and youth restiveness and the root cause of these acts emanate from abuse of drugs.”
On his part, the National Coordinator of the 100 Percent Compliance Team, NAGAFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko explained that most freight forwarders become liable to the crime of hard drugs importation because 60 percent of freight agents at the ports use their company names to import consignments on behalf of the importers.
While assuring NDLEA of the group’s support, the NAGAFF Compliance boss noted that about eleven members of NAGAFF have been innocently detained in prison due to such acts.
Tanko, however, stressed that freight forwarders should should desist from using their company name to ship in consignments in favour of the importers to avoid being liable when there are infractions.
“We have already started this fight from our Importers Association. 60 percent of our freight forwarders are using their licences to import because every one is looking for customers. Instead of allowing the importer to use his name to import he might bribe you to use your name because he doesn’t have a company. When those containers are shipped they sometimes find drugs in them. There are many freight forwarders who have been innocently jailed due to this. We currently have more than 11 of our members who are in prison. Money is good but don’t give your company name for such activities,” Tanko said.