Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd.)

Ministry, NDLEA partner to combat illegal drug use, trafficking in Nigeria

*The war against illicit drugs and tackling drug trafficking is one of the most important tasks in Nigeria today, considering that drug trafficking, money laundering by traffickers and use of illicit drugs are closely linked to the nation’s security and wellbeing of the citizens ─Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information and Culture

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In order to enhance maximum publicity for the national campaign illegal drug use and trafficking, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has disclosed that it will collaborate with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to launch a nationwide campaign against drug trafficking in Nigeria.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this Thursday, April 15 in Abuja, FCT, when he received the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd.), on a courtesy visit to his office, agency report said.

The Minister said: “The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will work with you to give maximum publicity to your activities especially in the area of advocacy.

“To date, we have launched a number of national campaigns.

“It will not be a bad idea for the Ministry, working with the NDLEA, to launch a national campaign against drug trafficking and use of illicit drugs.”

Alhaji Mohammed also stated: “I will also encourage the NDLEA to work with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), which has set up Integrity Clubs in Secondary Schools nationwide, to reach the young ones with its campaign against drug use.”

According to him, the war against illicit drugs and tackling drug trafficking is one of the most important tasks in Nigeria today, considering that drug trafficking, money laundering by traffickers and the use of illicit drugs are closely linked to the nation’s security, well-being of the citizens, the moral fabric of the society and even governance.

“It is common knowledge that drug money can be used to finance insurgency and terrorism.

“A successful fight against drug trafficking will therefore help to deny or reduce funding for insurgency.

“The kind of vicious banditry and kidnapping for ransom that our country has witnessed in recent times cannot be totally separated from illicit drug use and their effects on users who take to crime”, said the Minister.

Influence on governance

The Minister said even governance is not spared from the drug scourge as drug traffickers and money launderers contest and win elections into high offices where they help shape policies, while noting that drug traffickers sometimes end up becoming role models in society with devastating consequences for the young ones.

Mohammed also commended the NDLEA Chairman for recording impressive achievements in less than three months of his appointment, particularly in restoring the visibility of the Agency for local and international partnerships, boosting the morale and confidence of staffers, attracting international support and the ‘offensive action’ against drug cartels.

The agency’s efforts, the Minister added, have led to the arrest of 2,175 drug traffickers, seizure of 2,050,765.33 kg of illicit drugs as well as cash and drug seizures worth N75 billion.

In his remarks on the alarming rate of drug abuse in the country, NDLEA Chairman Marwa disclosed that drug abuse has assumed an alarming proportion in Nigeria.

The country has about 15 million drug users between the age bracket of 15 and 64.25 percent of whom are females, said he.

Marwa, therefore, sought the collaboration of the ministry and its agencies to launch a nationwide public sensitisation on drug demand reduction drive through advocacy programmes in the media in order to curb drug abuse in the country.

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