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Senate Committee hails NDLEA’s battle against substance abuse, promises support

NDLEA's achievements and challenges discussed at National Assembly briefing

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The Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics has lauded the relentless efforts of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in combating substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. The Committee expressed its commitment to collaborate with and support the agency in its mission to eradicate the drug menace in Nigeria.

The commendation followed a detailed briefing by NDLEA Chairman and Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on November 7th. Marwa highlighted the global challenges of illicit drug supply and demand, emphasizing the destructive impact on individuals and society.

Speaking on achievements, Marwa outlined the agency’s intelligence-based enforcement initiatives, resulting in the arrest of 36,096 drug traffickers, including 40 barons, between January 2021 and September 2023. Seizures of 6,668 tons of drugs worth over N635 billion were recorded, and 957.319 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed. Additionally, 6,043 cases were successfully prosecuted, with 11,166 pending cases in the Federal High Court. Over 27,432 drug-dependent individuals received counseling and treatment.

Despite these accomplishments, Marwa addressed challenges such as inadequate funding, the lack of standard rehabilitation centers, operational boats and vehicles, forensic laboratories, and an insufficient salary structure for personnel.

Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, assured the NDLEA of the committee’s dedication to working with the agency. He hinted at the possibility of an emergency summit on drugs due to the severity of the issue. Vice Chairman Senator Osita Ngwu expressed encouragement and pledged support to continue the fight against drug demand, emphasizing the need to act swiftly to prevent further destruction.

Committee members echoed their commitment to fast-track the amendment of the NDLEA Act, previously passed by the 9th Senate but returned to the 10th Senate due to expiration.

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