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Thailand Govt Commends NDLEA Over Drastic Drop In Number Of Nigerians In Thai Prisons

….As Marwa seeks support on training, improved partnership on visa clearance, others

The government of Thailand has commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA for mounting a vigorous fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, a development that has impacted positively on the image of the country in the international community.

The commendation was given by the Charge d’affaires/Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Thai Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Kriwat Pharmorabuta who was accompanied by a Counsellor, Mr Perapol Berananda during a courtesy visit to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd).

According to a press release on Wednesday, 29th May 2024 signed by the NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said that while praising the inspiring leadership Marwa has provided the NDLEA in the last three years, the Thai envoy said “I have good news that I received as we speak because before, there were around 800 prisoners from Nigeria in Thai prisons, but right now the number has decreased greatly, it is less than 200. That means it’s very difficult now for them to get out with the drugs. So, I congratulate you and the Nigerian people. I feel pleased because I’m a diplomat in Nigeria and so I love not only my country but also Nigeria because Nigeria is my second home. So, when I receive good news like this I feel very happy.”

Speaking on the ongoing collaboration between the Thai embassy and NDLEA on visa clearance, Mr Pharmorabuta said his government seeks to strengthen the partnership since the embassy relies more on NDLEA visa clearance to issue Thai visas to any Nigerian travelling to Thailand from anywhere in the world because of the thorough job usually done by the Agency on the important travel document.

According to him, “I would like to thank Your Excellency and to inform you that the government of Thailand gives more importance to the certificate of NDLEA of Nigeria before issuing visas. There may be some other criteria, and some other qualifications that they might need but I think it’s not the priority, the priority document that the government of Thailand needs is the certificate from NDLEA.

So, it means that if a Nigerian has the NDLEA Certificate, the correct one in their hands, 90- 95% assurance is guaranteed that they can receive the visas to enter into the kingdom of Thailand. So, I would like to thank you very much and to inform you that I’m too pleased that our team, my delegation and your delegation can know each other so that we can coordinate well in subsequent works.”

While stating that he’s responsible for bilateral relations between Nigeria and Thailand, the envoy assured that he would work towards strengthening the partnership between NDLEA and its counterparts in Thailand as well as support the Agency in terms of training and scholarship for its personnel.

In his response, Marwa expressed delight at the ongoing partnership between NDLEA and the Thai embassy on visa clearance certificates. He indicated a keen interest in the readiness of the Thai government to support the Agency with training and scholarships for its personnel.

“In the area of training that you just indicated your readiness to support us, you are very welcome and we are going to write this week indicating interest in the training and the scholarships. We have a lot to learn from Thailand, In fact, I just created a unit, the Alternative Development Unit in my office, which focuses on encouraging our drug traffickers, especially the cannabis growers, because we have so much going on here, over 10 million consuming it and we’ve seized such a huge number, over 7000 tonnes of cannabis, we’re looking at encouraging them to stop cannabis and do other things like rice, sugarcane, cocoa and the country that we can turn to for help is Thailand, because you have the experience in alternative development so that the people will drop this bad habit and do something more legitimate for themselves”, the NDLEA boss stated.

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