NAFDAC, NDLEA, Customs Unite to Fight Drug Abuse

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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.

Towards ridding the nation of the menace of drug abuse and related organised crimes, the trio of 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 in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking, and use.

Leaders of the regulatory agencies decried the trend in the country, where controlled drugs find their way to the streets where are they are sold without checks to people, especially youths, as they vowed to deepen collaboration to ensure that such unwholesome acts are completely eliminated from the society.

They made the pledge in Lagos at the weekend, during the launch and dissemination of the 2022 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and Precursors Report 2022.

NAFDAC Director General, 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.

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‘’They are classified not on chemical nature but on the potential for abuse and the need for medical use of the substance’’, she said, adding that one of the control objectives is to ensure availability solely for medical and scientific uses while minimising the possibility of diversion to illicit channels and abuse”, she said.

Citing prevalence of cannabis use being 7 times higher among men in comparison to 2.6 per cent usage among women, she said that Nigeria will not support the trend of legalisation of cannabis for non-medical use as country lacks the financial capacity to fight cultivation, production and illegal use of the substance.

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

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Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Chairman of NDLEA, Brigadier General, Buba Marwa, rtd, bemoaned 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 conceptualised 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.

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‘’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”, he stated.

 

 

 

 

 

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