NAFDAC, NDLEA, CUSTOMS Vow to Join Forces to combat Menace of Narcotics and Drug Abuse Among Youths

Spread the love



By Biola Lawal

Lagos: (Flowerbudnews): Hard times now await peddlers and users of illicit drugs in the country as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) and Nigeria Customs Service have pledged to join forces to combat the menace

The Agencies, along with other stakeholders in the health sector, stated that their collaboration would also concentrate on tackling production and trafficking of illicit drugs.

They also vowed to collectively fight and curb illicit drug related organized crime.

The pledge was made on Thursday in Lagos at the launch and dissemination of the 2022 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Precursors Report 2022, a NAFDAC statement by Sayo Akintola,
Resident Media Consultant stated.

The Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye described narcotics and psychotropic substances as indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and that they are controlled within the framework of the three international conventions as they possess abuse liability and produce dependence in users.

‘’They are classified not on chemical nature but on the potential for abuse and the need for medical use of the substance’’, she said.

Prof. Adeyeye added that one of the control objectives is to ensure availability solely for medical and scientific uses while minimizing the possibility of diversion to illicit channels and abuse.

According to her, the policy thrust of the Agency is to ensure availability, access and rational use while preventing illicit use and abuse.

The international drug control conventions, she added, are thus interpreted to mean improved access to controlled medicines to enable countries meet their drug needs.

In other to ensure adequate availability of controlled medicines, the NAFDAC boss disclosed that the Agency in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health carried out two quantifications of narcotics and estimation of psychotropic substances and precursors in 2017 and 2019.

She said that the results of these surveys provide the evidenced-based estimation of our national annual requirements of these substances and enable the country to develop measures to achieve that delicate balance between access and control.

‘’According to the 2018 National Drug Use Survey, the prevalence of any drug use was 14.4% or 14.3 million people between the age of 15 and 64 years’’, she said, noting that this is comparatively high compared with the 2016 global annual prevalence of 5.6% among adult population.

Prof Adeyeye pointed out that the challenges arising from drug supply and consumption are not restricted to people who use drugs but have wider health, social and economic consequences on the family, community, and country.

The report, she stated further, revealed that Cannabis is the most commonly used drug, stressing that an estimated 10.8 per cent of the population or 10.6 million people, had used cannabis in the past year with the average age of initiation of cannabis use among the general population put at 19 years.

‘’Cannabis use was 7 times higher among men (18.8 per cent among men vs. 2.6 per cent of women), while the gender gap in the non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids (such as tramadol) was less marked’’, she said.

She however, said that Nigeria will not support the trend of legalization of cannabis for non-medical use as Nigeria lacks the financial capacity to fight cultivation, production and illegal use of the substance.

The non-medical use of Cannabis, according to Prof. Adeyeye, contravenes the United Nations Single Convention of 1961, which classifies cannabis as a highly addictive substance.

‘’The Nigeria Indian Hemp Act as well as the NDLEA Act prohibit the cultivation, production, distribution, sales and use of cannabis and its extracts or derivatives for medical or non-medical purposes’’.

She commended the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime UNODC for the assistance and support to the country in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking, and use, and in curbing related organized crime.

‘’We also appreciate INCB for the support to NAFDAC towards enhanced regulatory control of narcotics and psychotropic substances’’.

Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Chairman of NDLEA, Brigadier General, Buba Marwa, rtd. decried what he described as an upsurge in abuse of cannabis amongst the Nigerian youths with its attendant negative effects on the society.

He disclosed that the NDLEA with a view to addressing this problem conceptualized War Against Drug Abuse WADA which was launched by the Nigerian President, Mohammadu Buhari on June 26, 2021.

General Marwa who was represented by Mrs. Victoria Ekase, noted that NAFDAC has been ensuring that controlled drug essential for human survival are made available for use where necessary in line with the requirements of INCB, adding that NDLEA on its own part collaborates with NAFDAC in ensuring that the measures put in place to prevent diversion of such medicines and substances to illicit use are adhered to.

‘’In some instances, NDLEA has arrested and prosecuted some traffickers of controlled and narcotics substances intended to be diverted to illicit uses’’, he said, noting with dismay that It’s quite worrisome that chemicals intended for research and industrial purposes are finding their way into illicit drug manufacture.

‘’This is the area that NAFDAC and NDLEA need to deepen collaboration to ensure that such unwholesome acts are completely eliminated’’, he said, adding that the launch of the precursor report will go a long way to complement national efforts in this regard.

General Marwa pledged that NAFDAC and NDLEA will continue to collaborate with major stakeholders at all levels to develop an efficient value-chain and support system that will ensure access to narcotics and controlled substances for medical and strategic purposes while preventing diversion for illicit use.

‘’I sincerely hope that the global launch of the report will enhance the integration and cooperation amongst stakeholders in ensuring effective implementation for the overall benefit of the society.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Alli, Rdt. who was represented at the event by Ag. Assistant Comptroller General, ACG, A.N Dappa, also commended NAFDAC, observing that NAFDAC and NDLEA have been most wonderful.

He pledged the loyalty and support of the customs service in the task of ridding the nation of illicit drug. ‘’We have always been in partnership, and we will continue to work in close partnership with you’’, he said. (Flowerbudnews)

hoto 1.
R-L: Mrs Victoria Ekpase, who represented the NDLEA Chairman, Brigadier General Buba Marwa, Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye and Prof Aderonke Adepeju-Bello of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria PSN, at the launch and dissemination of the 2022 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Precursors Report 2022, in Lagos…Thursday.
Photo 2
L-R: Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, Mrs Victoria Ekpase, who represented the NDLEA Chairman, Brigadier General Buba Marwa Rtd, Ag. Assistant Comptroller General ACG of the Nigeria Customs Service, A.N. Dappa, who represented the Customs Service Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Alli rtd. at the launch and dissemination of the 2022 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Precursors Report 2022, in Lagos…Thursday


Biola Lawal

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x