Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, has assured that the agency is committed to tackle illicit drugs in the country despite the myriads of challenges.
Marwa’s claim was made known in an excerpt from a piece published in the agency’s magazine.
The NDLEA boss said he is confident that NDLEA now holds all the aces and stands a good chance of curbing the drug menace in the country.
He therefore expressed confidence that the NDLEA is going to bring drug prevalence figures down, even though at the moment, they still remain at a worrisome number.
According to the NDLEA chief, June was a month of strategic development and significant developments for the agency including the launch of the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative, the unveiling of the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP 2021-2025) and the release of the Standard Policy and Practice Guidelines (SPPG) for the Agency’s counselling centres.
These, he noted were in addition to the agency’s continuing blistering performance in terms of record arrest and conviction of drug traffickers and unprecedented seizures of consignments of assorted illicit substances.
Notwithstanding, Marwa stressed that it is not yet ‘Uhuru’, insisting that “the drug prevalence in Nigeria is worrisome, especially when compared with the global average”.
He said, “from the last UNODC/Ministry of Health survey in 2018, we now know that 14.3 million Nigerians, between the ages of 15 and 64, abuse drugs. The World Drug Report ranked Nigeria as the leading country in the abuse of cannabis. These statistics should worry Nigerians.”
The NDLEA CEO, however, assured that the statistics will change for the better, explaining that his optimism is founded on solid premises.
“We are now an intelligence-based organization, and the purpose of our strategies is to exterminate illicit drug supply or, at least, control it; while at the same time, we are ramping up our drug demand reduction efforts. With UNODC, we have launched a standard policy guideline for counselling for NDLEA counsellors. So, our strategies encapsulate prevention, treatment, and aftercare,” he declared.