The Honourable Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, has reiterated the immense importance the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) programme holds for the Nigerian Police and the nation.
He stated this during the visit of the ECOWAS, European Union, and INTERPOL delegation led by Head of Politics, Press and Information Section European Union (ECOWAS/Nigeria) Zissimos Vergos, to the Ministry Headquarters in Abuja.
The Minister, according to a statement signed by the Press Deputy Director, Bolaji Kazeem and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), stated that Nigeria is at the forefront of addressing the complex challenges of transnational crime and terrorism and the need for efficient and reliable information-sharing mechanisms cannot be overstated.
“The WAPIS system presents us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our law enforcement efforts and foster collaboration among West African countries. This visit marks a significant milestone in our journey towards implementing the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) here in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“By implementing the WAPIS, we will enhance our capacity to collect, store, analyze, and share crucial law enforcement data across borders. This system will enable us to tackle the menace of organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism more effectively,” he said.
Gaidam added that it will empower our law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools to identify and apprehend criminals who operate across national boundaries, ensuring that they face the full force of justice.
The Minister expressed that, the WAPIS system will contribute to the creation of a safer and more secure West Africa; It will foster trust and cooperation among our regional partners, facilitating the exchange of information, best practices, and expertise.
“Together, we can establish a formidable network that transcends borders, allowing us to combat crime collectively and protect the well-being of our citizens. WAPIS in Nigeria would not have been possible without the steadfast support and collaboration of our esteemed partners. The ECOWAS Commission, the European Union, and INTERPOL have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to fostering regional security and supporting Nigeria’s efforts in this critical endeavor.
Earlier, Head of Politics, Press and Information Section European Union (ECOWAS/Nigeria) Zissimos VERGOS who led the delegation stated that the purpose of their visit is to review the specific objective of the program and examine the status regarding the development of WAPIS mechanism within Nigeria law enforcement landscape noting that there is the need for better coordination and dialogue among the security agencies and exchange of information within West Africa region.
In his contribution, the Head of the Regional Security Division (ECOWAS Commission) Colonel Abdourahmane Dieng said that WAPIS is an ECOWAS programme and the need for political support towards the advancement of the process adding that they had identified some issues in the implementation of the programme in Nigeria and the need for the technical mission to support the team in Nigeria.