The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called for well-coordinated international cooperation to tackle the links between drug trafficking and all forms of organised crime, like terrorism.
The NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa said this on Monday, April 12, at the ongoing 64th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, (CND), holding in Vienna, Austria.
In a statement by the agency’s Director Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Monday, in Abuja, Marwa presented this as one of Nigeria’s demands to a global audience.
According to him, Nigeria would welcome robust international cooperation, to address the links between drug trafficking and terrorism; illicit financial flows; smuggling of migrants; as well as other forms of organised crime.
“We underscore the importance of technical assistance by United Nations on Drug and Crime (UNODC), which has greatly assisted practitioners of beneficiary countries.
“And this positively impacted on global efforts to counter; as well as address the world drug problem; and we also urge for their continuation,” he said.
Marwa explained that Nigeria had continued to adapt its drug control policies; and strategies to respond to emerging and evolving realities.
The NDLEA boss lamented that despite the implementation of the framework and strategic Action Plan; trafficking and abuse of controlled substances had persisted.
“First, the cultivation and high traffic of cannabis; and its abuse have been on the increase. Our National Drug Use Survey, 2019, revealed that over 10 million persons abused cannabis in one year.
“In a similar pattern, the 2019 and 2020 World Drug Reports identified cannabis as the most abused substance; with its threat to security, health and wellbeing of the global population.
“Second, the trafficking as well as non-medical use of synthetic and pharmaceutical opioids; especially Tramadol, remains a challenge.
“This is in spite of our domestic control efforts, as well as two tripartite meetings, facilitated by UNODC; involving Nigeria, Ghana and India, held in New Delhi and also Lagos in 2019, to address the Tramadol crisis,” he said
As a result, he added, NDLEA, was now able to optimise data collection; and also improve statutory submission of annual requirements to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).