FG Recommits To Strong Working Relationship With UNODC

By Nana Musa

The Federal Government has reiterated commitment to cordial relationship with the United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime in Nigeria (UNODC).

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu said this when he received the UNODC team in his office in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that Nigeria and UNODC had been collaborating, providing support to state and non-state actors in the area of anti-corruption, counter-terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism, drug prevention, treatment and control.

Bagudu said that they also fight organised maritime crime, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, justice sector reform, the prevention of HIV/AIDS in prison settings and related to drug use, as well as crime prevention through education.

He urged UNODC to involve the ministry in the development of its annual work plan and upload data on her interventions in Nigeria into the Development Assistance Database (DAD) to facilitate effective reporting on the activities of the organisation.

Bagudu said: “The ministry will like UNODC to strengthen it’s relationship with the ministry by working collaboratively with the international cooperation department.

“Involve the ministry in the development of its Annual Work Plan and the development of the UNODC Country Project Document and involve it in monitoring of its activities in Nigeria.”

The minister commended the team for its continuous support to the country.

“There have been remarkable collaborations between UNODC and the ministry in the implementation of programmes funded by the European Union.

“This is in the areas of migration governance, anti-corruption, drug prevention, treatment and control, justice sector reform and counter-terrorism.

“Also, providing better management of migration in Nigeria by combating and reducing irregular migration (2011-2018) with a total budget of 20 million Euros, funded under the 10th European Development Fund.

“They gave support to criminal justice response to terrorism and violent extremism (2018 – 2021), funded under the 11th European Development Fund, among others,” Bagudu said.

The Country Director UNODC (Nigeria), Mr Oliver Stolpe, said they had been supporting the country and promised to continue.

He said that UNODC worked with the justice system and all the paramilitary forces in the country.

“Because there is a new government in the country, we have come to familiarise ourselves and show our commitment and support.

“Also, to tell you all we are currently doing so we can take you along,” Stolpe said.

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