Forms Strategic partnership with NAGAFF
(Report by Udeme Clement)
It was an epoch-making ceremony yesterday, at the headquarters of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Apapa, Lagos, as National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), honoured the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, as Ambassador of War Against Drug Abuse.
The ceremony, was brief but dignifying, as the Director of Seaport Operations, Mrs Omolade Faboyede, decorated Dr Aniebonam, before top officials of the Agency, members of NAGAFF, stakeholders in the maritime industry, officials of the Compliance team and Journalists.
Mrs Faboyede, who represented NDLEA boss, Brigadier General, Buba Marwa, officially presented the certificate of Ambassadorship to Dr Aniebonam.
Mrs Faboyede, who is also the Deputy Commander General of Narcotics (DCGN), said Dr Aniebonam is worthy of the honour bestowed on him by NDLEA, following his track record and enormous contributions to the growth of Nigerian Maritime industry and the economy at large.
Her words: ” The concept of Ambassador on War Against Drug Abuse, is an initiative of our Chairman to have meaningful stakeholders in the society to partner with NDLEA for a campaign on public awareness in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking in our country.
“At present, there is no crime being committed in this country that does not have influence of drugs. Be it terrorism, rape, robbery and kidnapping. For instance, in a survey of drugs conducted in 2019, we have a figure of more than 10.6 million people abusing drugs in Nigeria. So, drug abuse is associated with crimes.
“NDLEA can not do this campaign alone. That is why we are here to join forces with NAGAFF in the war against the use of hard drugs, especially among our youths.
“We appreciate what Dr Aniebonam is doing in the maritime industry, by empowering many young people on freight forwarding business.
Today, there are many young graduates coming out of schools. We want to enlighten them on entrepreneurship, in order for them to channel their energy into doing something productive, instead of taking dangerous drugs. How many people can government employ? So, it is a big task we are giving the NAGAFF Founder today.
“Dr Aniebonam, we are forming a strategic partnership with you because you have a voice in freight forwarding sector, you have a voice in the maritime industry, you have a voice in the nation’s economy and the society at large”.
Speaking further, Mrs. Faboyede, stressed that the NAGAFF Founder deserves his appointment as Ambassador, even as she expressed optimism in his capacity to work with NDLEA in its advocacy for a drug free society.
In his response, Dr Aniebonam, informed; “NAGAFF was founded in 1999 and since then, there has been a cordial relationship between us and NDLEA. When the agency first made appearance in the seaports, there was resistance from those who don’t know the importance of NDLEA.
“Your presence here made us to understand that there are many things going on in the ports, which we do not know. We still look forward to that responsible partnership.
“Drug abuse is a very serious issue and people do not even understand the implications of hard drugs. They only think of hard drugs as cocaine and heroine but It goes beyond these.
“Recently, I was attacked by young boys late at night. They broke into my house and pointed a gun at me. They could not have done that, if they were not under the influence of dangerous drugs. We will continue to partner with NDLEA in the war against drugs abuse”.
In his remarks, the National Secretary, Western Zone of NAGAFF Compliance Team, Mr. Clement Chukwuemeka, described the honour bestowed on Dr Aniebonam by NDLEA as a national recognition coming from an important agency of the Federal Government.
Mr Clement, also openly acknowledged the enormous contributions of Dr Aniebonam to the maritime industry in Nigeria, stressing that NAGAFF is working assiduously to move the industry forward.
Also, the NAGAFF Public Relations Officer (PRO), while introducing top members of the Association during the ceremony, described Dr Aniebonam, as a personality whose name reflects innovation, ingenuity and tenacity for a better society.
In attendance was the NAGAFF Deputy National President, Mr Simeon Nwonu.
The event ended with group photographs and entertainment for guests.