The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Muhammad Abdallah, on Saturday said the agency seized drugs worth N22 billion in 2015.
This is contained in a statement issued by the agency’s spokesperson, Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, made available to newsmen in Lagos.
Abdallah, according to the statement, said that the threat of narcotics was real in the country.
”As Nigeria joins the World in marking International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, effort is needed against the threat posed by narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
”The estimated street value of seized narcotic drugs in 2015 is over N22 billion naira. The threat of illicit drugs is real and concerted effort is required to halt the activities of drug trafficking cartels.
”The agency in 2015 seized drugs weighing 903,624.56kg. Drug control is an important campaign that affects national security and public health.
”We must collectively rise up against drug trafficking organisation because its effect on children, youths, families and communities is unimaginable.
”There is need for a greater understanding of the effects of drugs by members of the public.
“NDLEA arrested 8,778 suspected drug traffickers comprising 8,143 males and 635 females in 2015.
”The drugs include cannabis, 871,480.32kg, psychotropic substances 30,652.93kg, ephedrine is 785.10kg, methamphetamine 410.82kg, cocaine 260.47kg, heroin 30.09kg and amphetamine 4.83kg.
”The agency also won 1,690 cases prosecuted in 2015. Nigeria is in the vanguard of the global crusade against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse,’’ it said.
The statement said that the agency was committed to its obligations under the United Nations Drug Control Conventions and was playing a leading role in regional counter narcotics programmes.
”Nigeria is making significant effort in addressing the problem of drug trafficking and abuse. The NDLEA will continue to give drug control all the attention required for total victory,’’ the statement said.
It identified training and effective collaboration with stakeholders as some of the reasons for the giant strides recorded by the agency.
”We have made significant progress through training, strict law enforcement and effective collaboration with international and local partners.
”While consolidating on the gains recorded, efforts are ongoing to improve staff welfare, provide more logistics support and increase funding,” it said.