The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it recorded seizures of 6,668 tons of drugs, worth over N635 billion between January 2021 and September 2023.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Marwa (Retd) disclosed this while briefing the Committee on the activities, challenges and achievements of the agency in the last 34 months at the National Assembly complex.
During the briefing, Marwa revealed that the agency also arrested a total of 36,096 drug traffickers, among them 40 barons within the time under review.
“About 957.319 hectares of cannabis farms have been destroyed across 12 states within the period under review, while we successfully prosecuted and got convictions in 6,043 cases.
“Presently, there are 11,166 pending cases in Federal High Court across the country. And between January 2021 and September 2023, over 27,432 drug-dependent individuals have been counselled and discharged from our counselling and treatment facilities across the country,” he said.
Also, he highlighted some of the challenges facing the agency including inadequate funding, dearth of standard rehabilitation centres, lack of operational boats and vehicles, forensic laboratories and poor salary structure for personnel among others.
While briefing the committee, Marwa said the global supply and demand of illicit drugs, including opioids and synthetic drugs has exacerbated the world drug problem, with a devastating impact on people and their well-being across borders and continents.
According to him, Families, communities, young people, old men and women and the polity are daily being destroyed by drug abuse. He added that the scourge is at the basis of the security challenges facing not only Nigeria but other nations and as such, no effort must be spared in addressing the problem.
Speaking on some of its achievements in the areas of drug demand reduction and drug supply reduction, Marwa said, “The agency re-ignited its intelligence-based enforcement capabilities, focusing on drug barons and cartels, with a view to cutting off supplies and taking illicit drugs away from our streets.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Senator Ibrahim Dankwambo assured Marwa of the committee’s commitment to collaborate with the agency to eradicate the use of illicit drugs and narcotics in Nigeria.