Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), disclosed that his agency in the past six weeks has intercepted and destroyed illicit drugs worth over N60 billion.
Marwa made the disclosure during an advocacy visit to the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, chaired by Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo.
He said all strata of the Nigerian society must join in to the fight to control the drug trade in Nigeria.
According to him, ‘’Nigeria today is in a serious dilemma on the drug scourge. The problem of drug abuse is everywhere now; every community in Nigeria has a drug problem. It’s also fueling the criminality going on in the country. Nobody in his right senses will wake up and say he wants to kidnap 300 children, if he is not under the influence of drugs.
“Now, criminals use ransoms for drugs. The criminality in Nigeria is fueled by drugs. Drug abuse is at the bottom of criminality in Nigeria. Just recently, we seized 230 tons of drugs in Edo State, where armed villagers challenged officers to a duel with sophisticated weapons. But despite these challenges, we have been able to seize over N60bilion worth of drugs and narcotics in the last six weeks.”
Speaking further, Marwa lamented the decay and challenges faced by the agency, appealing to the lawmakers to intervene on more funding for it to perform better.
He said: “When I took over NDLEA, I saw a handicapped agency. There are no training courses. The staff members need to be trained and upgraded, but there is no money to do that. The training institutions at the agency are dilapidated, and there is no equipment to fight drug barons in the country. All of our staff members are owed either traveling, training or death benefits, which has not paid.”
While responding, the Chairman of the committee, Agbo, said the war against narcotic and drugs addiction is a war everyone must engage in.
Agbo, while corroborating the NDLEA boss’ statement that the agency is understaffed and unequipped, disclosed that the committee approved money to purchase a headquarters for the NDLEA.