ABUJA, Nigeria – Getting INTERPOL’s vital global policing information into the hands of frontline law enforcement officers throughout Nigeria is part of an ongoing expansion programme by national authorities.
Nigeria’s work to ensure agencies at key border control points, including the immigration service and customs, can access INTERPOL’s global databases was a key part of discussions during INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock’s first mission to the country.
The INTERPOL Chief met with Minister of the Interior Lt Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), Muhammed Babandede.
Connectivity between the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Abuja with other agencies such as the NIS, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) were highlighted as good practice in ensuring a seamless transfer of policing information.
Bodies including the UN Security Council, via resolution 2396 (2017), and the International Civil Aviation Organization have again recently called on member countries to use INTERPOL’s global databases and implement Advance Passenger Identification (API) mechanisms.
INTERPOL’s databases – which are checked more than 150 times every second – contain details of more than 43,200 foreign terrorist profiles in addition to nearly 75 million stolen and lost travel documents, stolen vehicles, DNA and fingerprints.
Secretary General Stock praised the head of NCB Abuja and Executive Committee delegate for Africa, Commissioner Olushola Subair for his important work in expanding Nigeria’s connections to the global policing network.
“Information is the lifeblood of policing, and Nigeria is taking major steps forward in making sure their officers can do their job effectively, no matter where their duty station,” said Secretary General Stock.
“Inter-agency cooperation is also important, so the INTERPOL connections being made with bodies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is also welcomed,” added Mr Stock.
Knowing how to use data is as important as accessing information. Nigeria has hosted a range of INTERPOL meetings and training courses including on INTERPOL’s Firearms Policing Capabilities. These comprise the Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS), the INTERPOL Ballistic Information Network (IBIN) and the INTERPOL Firearms Reference Table (IFRT).
Participants from a range of national security agencies were trained on how to share data at the national and global level on the movement of legal, and illegal firearms, as well as details of weapons which have been used in a crime.
Nigeria has also seconded specialized officers to INTERPOL offices around the world, including the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, the Regional Bureau in Abidjan and the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore.