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09 March 2010 - Media release

Nigerian minister pledges closer ties with INTERPOL in training and capacity building

LYON, France – Nigeria’s Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, today reinforced his country’s commitment to further develop and enhance police training with closer co-operation and support from INTERPOL.

During a visit to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, Minister Lame met with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other senior officials to discuss a range of issues, including capacity building initiatives such as those supported by INTERPOL’s German-funded OASIS (Operational Assistance, Services and Infrastructure Support) programme.

As part of Nigeria’s commitment to police co-operation, Minister Lame also agreed that in his capacity as chairman of the Ministers in charge of Police and Security Matters for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that he would propose all member countries waive visa entry requirements for officials using INTERPOL passports when travelling on police business, to ‘ensure that police assistance can be delivered where it is requested as quickly as possible’.

“To effectively combat crime and protect its borders and citizens, national law enforcement requires the assistance of their policing colleagues around the world and it is here that INTERPOL plays a key role,” said Minister Lame.

“Working closely with INTERPOL in capacity building means that Nigerian police can benefit from expertise from around the world, and in turn share our knowledge and experience.”

Minister Lame also underlined the fight against corruption as a key area in the collaboration between Nigeria and INTERPOL.

“Anti-corruption courses represent a core part of police training in Nigeria, and we therefore especially look forward to further developing our capacity in this field with the opening of both the Faculty of Peacekeeping and Anti-Corruption at the Nigeria Police University and the launch of INTERPOL’s International Anti-corruption Academy. These will provide us with a wider range of opportunities and international expertise to ensure that our law enforcement officers benefit from the highest levels of training,” said the minister.

Secretary General Noble said that by developing stronger and closer working ties with INTERPOL, Nigeria was demonstrating ‘a clear commitment to the safety and security of its citizens’.

“The importance of police training and capacity building cannot be underestimated and Minister Lame’s support for developing these areas deserves praise,” said the head of INTERPOL.

“Minister Lame’s decision to recommend that ECOWAS waive visa entry requirements for police officials using INTERPOL passports as part of their duties is also very welcome and will provide a strong precedent for other countries throughout Africa to follow his lead,” concluded Mr Noble.