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We seized 6.3m kg of illicit drugs, arrested 31,675 offenders within 29 months — NDLEA


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking has yielded significant results in the last 29 months with the seizure of 6.3 million kilograms of assorted drugs.

NDLEA also revealed that 31,675 drug offenders were arrested, while 5,147 of them, were prosecuted and convicted within the same period.

This was even as the agency charged citizens to stop the stigmatization of drug users, adding that it discourages them from seeking treatment, which in turn has serious socio-economic repercussions for individuals and their families.

NDLEA Secretary, Mr. Shadrach Haruna, who represented the Chairman, Buba Marwa, made this known in Abuja on Monday during a joint press briefing with the country representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, to flag off weeklong activities marking the 2023 World Drug Day.

He said, “This year’s theme, ‘People First: Stop Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention,’ is in furtherance of the whole-of-society approach to taming the drug scourge. This theme is especially pertinent to the Nigerian situation at the moment.

“In the past two and half years, we have strengthened our law enforcement efforts to cut down on the supply of drugs in society. In 29 months, we have arrested 31, 675 drug offenders, including 35 barons; successfully prosecuted and got convicted 5,147 of them, and over 11,000 other cases still pending in court, while 23,725 drug users had been counselled and rehabilitated, the majority of them through brief interventions.

“At least 6.3 million kilograms of various illicit substances have been recovered in response to our efforts to sweep up drugs and shut down the distribution channels. We have destroyed 852.142 hectares of cannabis farms and dismantled three clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. I can assure you that even as we speak, NDLEA agents are busy with interdiction activities somewhere.”

Haruna noted that drug supply reduction is, however, only one of the components of the equation, noting that another crucial component is drug demand reduction, which operationally means prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

“It should go without saying that we must strike a balance between these two crucial components if we are to achieve our desired utopia of a drug-free society. NDLEA has made significant investments in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation over the last two years.

“The doors of our rehabilitation facilities are open at all times. In the last 29 months, we have acquired a few more rehab centres, given to us as donations, while we have also obtained the federal government’s approval for the construction of regional model rehabs.

“More private treatment facilities are also cooperating with NDLEA. To cap it all, NDLEA went above and beyond to invest in a toll-free, round-the-clock call centre that provides teletherapy,” Haruna said.

In his remark, the UNODC country representative, Oliver Stolpe, emphasized the benefits of international cooperation in criminal justice matters with a specific target of dismantling trafficking networks involved in the terrible trade.

He said,”Long overdue is the need to make sure that the public and primary healthcare providers are better prepared to take basic drug counselling needs, knowing how to deal with people suffering from drug use disorders.”

Stolpe commended the NDLEA for the successes recorded so far in the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.



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