The Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam has sought the operational support of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to address the challenges of terrorism and strengthen counter-terrorism efforts that will contribute to the overall security of our nation.

He made the request during the visit of the INTERPOL delegation led by its President Major General Ahmed Naser Raisi to the Headquarters of the Ministry in Abuja. The Minister stated that the extension of the INTERPOL Global Secure Communication Network, I-24/7, to the major international airports and borders will enhance the country’s security infrastructure and serve as a valuable tool in combating cross-border crimes.

In his words, “The extension of the INTERPOL Global Secure Communication Network, I-24/7, to Nigerian Law Enforcement Agencies, including organizations such as the NDLEA, EFCC, Nigerian Navy, NFIU, and Nigeria Immigration Service, has significantly bolstered our security infrastructure. This expansion has empowered our agencies to address the growing threat of cross-border crimes more efficiently” Gaidam stressed.

He said the support in terms of capacity building and equipment donations from Interpol to Nigerian law enforcement agencies has been invaluable and has positively impacted our day-to-day activities to the security agencies to tackle crime more effectively.

Gaidam pointed out that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Nigeria and Interpol on the Privileges and Immunities of INTERPOL in Nigeria in 2022 has solidified its commitment to facilitating Interpol’s operations within our borders.

According to him, “the signing of the MOU between Nigeria and Interpol on the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) in 2019 has strengthened regional cooperation among West African countries in sharing criminal intelligence”.

The Minister revealed that the construction of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau Abuja permanent headquarters in Abuja is well underway and the seven-story building will serve as a hub for officers seconded to Nigeria from Interpol, AFRIPOL, and WAPIS, to enhance collaborative efforts.

He added that Nigeria has consistently supported Interpol’s programs by actively participating in operations targeting global criminal networks noting that the collaboration with Interpol has also led to significant achievements in terms of criminal record management and the commitment to maintaining international security.

Earlier, the President of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Major General Ahmed Naser Al Raisi appreciated the support of the Nigerian government and its agencies for their cooperation in the running of INTERPOL.

He said the organization has no hidden agenda and it is open to all member countries to participate and contribute to the achievement of the mandate of the organization. Nobody owns it, it is for every participating member. Raisi pointed out.

In his words, “This organization, nobody owns it, Nigeria has been contributing to the organization for the past 63 years and this contribution goes to salaries, training facilities, building, and others that make the organization sustainable. Without Nigeria and other African contributions, it would be difficult to run it. We do not have a hidden agenda. Our agenda is to have a sustainable budget, move to the digital era, and diversity in the organization operations”.

The INTERPOL President said they have created more diversity in the organization and opened spaces for Africa and South America and now have very important financial and anti-corruption units.

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