The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigerian Anti-narcotic Agency, has asserted that it is making plans for alternative development strategies that will permanently stop drug cartels from doing business and ensure protection of the environment from the harmful impacts of illegal drug production and cultivation. This information was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), retired Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, as he highlighted measures to curb the menace.
Retired Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa outlined the efforts of Nigeria to find solutions to the problem of illegal drug production and trafficking, and substance abuse. He gave the outline at the third committee session of the ongoing 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which was held in New York, USA. The CEO of the agency stated that cartels responsible for the illegal cultivation of drugs are enabling deforestation, which eventually results in environmental degradation in the country.
Neutralization of the threat requires capacity-building & collaboration.
In order to find a long-lasting solution to the problem, the NDLEA is working towards the implementation of an alternative development strategy. This strategy will ensure the provision of better options, such as improved seedlings and agricultural loans, for cannabis farmers. Marwa also decried the rising operations of drug traffickers online, after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, he affirmed that neutralization of the national threat requires capacity-building and collaboration. The country is currently ensuring amendments to relevant drug laws to strengthen its legal framework.
Marwa added that the bilateral and multilateral cooperation efforts of the NDLEA have had an expansion as a result of the signing and renewal of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with agencies and countries. This MoU has helped to deepen exchange programmes, capacity building, intelligence sharing, joint operations, and others. Marwa, the NDLEA boss, further stated that the Nigerian anti-narcotic agency, the NDLEA, will not cease to ensure identification of gaps and building of bridges.
Nigeria is considering adoption of a whole-of-society approach.
Also, NDLEA will make sure to dismantle drug trafficking cartels and provide access to counselling and treatment services. There will be an implementation of more policies to aid the protection of vulnerable groups, which include children, women, and displaced persons. The agency needs to ensure maintenance of a transparent lead on drug cartels, although the agency will ensure that there is continuous engagement in targeted strategic law enforcement and thoughtful regulations that are centred on human rights and are intelligence-led.
According to Marwa, the, NDLEA will implement stakeholder partnership, as it progresses in the SDGs implementation. He added, affirmatively, that no group, community, or individual must remain behind. The fight against the harmful substance must be extended on all fronts as the agency makes sure that communities in Nigeria are healthy, safe, and peaceful. Also, to combat the drug trafficking challenge in accordance with the 2030 SDG agenda, Nigeria is considering the adoption of a whole-of-society approach.
Efforts are focused on cushioning the challenges of narcotic drugs.
Additionally, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is equally aiding the promotion of evidence-based drug prevention, care, and treatment programmes, while putting efforts into the mitigation of the menace of illicit drugs supply. Marwa, the agency’s boss, stated that Nigeria has its efforts focused on cushioning the challenges of narcotic drugs, even as he affirmed that the drug demand reduction plans are tackling the challenges of discrimination and stigmatization against people with drug use disorders.