NDLEA seizes 155,000Kg of drugs, arrests 5,341 in 5 months nationwide

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized 155,000 kilograms of various assorted drugs and arrested 5,341 suspects in five months nationwide.

The Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, said this at the Drug Prevention, Treatment And Care (DPTC) workshop for governors’ wives as part of activities marking the 2022 World Drug Day on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day (WDD), is marked on June 26 annually.

It is marked to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.

Marwa said the workshop was of great significance to the strategic effort to control the abuse, trafficking and consequences of illicit drugs in our country.

He said the objective, in the end, was to improve the skills and optimise the capacity to counter the drug. phenomenon

According to him, the drug problem has become one of the world’s greatest challenges that threatens the well-being of human society.

“This year, as at the end of May, NDLEA has seized approximately 155,000 kilograms of drugs, recorded 5,341 arrests and 984 convictions,” he said.

Marwa said that the consequences of drug abuse, including chronic health conditions and untimely death, were existential threats that could not be ignored by any responsible government.

He said “sadly, Nigeria is not insulated against this problem”.

According to him, the country presently has some alarming drug statistics: “For example, we are a major cannabis cultivating and consuming country.

“Four years ago, we had 10.6 million users of the psychoactive plant, which made Nigeria the world’s leading cannabis-consuming country.

“Likewise, Nigeria has also become a producer of and a market for Crystal Methamphetamine, known locally as Mkpuru Mmiri.

“Meanwhile, in the background, we are also ramping up drug demand reduction activities such as counselling, treatment, care and rehabilitation with steady progress.

“From January 2021 to May 2022, a total of 11,523 drug users have been counselled and treated in NDLEA facilities mostly through brief interventions,” he said.

The NDLEA boss expressed gratitude to European Union (EU) for funding the “Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria” project.

He also appreciated the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) for the implementation of the project.

Marwa also said the intervention brought about positive changes to the NDLEA’s operations and boosted its capacities to control drug issues.

Also, the Country Representative, UNODC, Mr Oliver Stolpe, said that the UN project had helped Nigeria to achieve double treatment and care for drug users.

Stolpe called on Federal, State and Local Governments not to loose sight of the crises caused by drugs, by ensuring that children were exposed to drug treatment.

He advocated for equipping the primary health care facilities to handle cases at the local level, assuring that the UNODC would not relent in the fight against drug abuse. (NAN)

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