“CBN Intervention Funds, Fueling Inflation”
As part of efforts to prevent the influx of illicit drugs through seaports, the President and CEO of the National Drug Law Agency (NDLEA), Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), requested more support and cooperation from stakeholders in the country’s maritime sector.
According to him, the anti-narcotics agency cannot fight the scourge of drugs alone and needs the help of industry players to succeed in the fight to rid the country of traffickers and drug addicts.
Marwa, who spoke at the second edition of JournalNG’s industry town hall meeting titled ‘Towards a drug-free port environment’ held in Lagos, said the NDLEA had decided to maintain a strong presence in the ports.
This, said the NDLEA boss, the monumental drug seizures and series of stakeholder engagements, ranging from bail terminal owners/operators, shipping companies and agencies and other key industry stakeholders maritime.
Marwa, who was represented as Chairman of the event by Commander, NDLEA Apapa Port Command, Inalegwu Ameh, who presented a paper titled “Evolving a Drug Free Port Environment: A Call for Concerted Efforts”.
Speaking, the Commander of NDLEA Apapa Port Command, Inalegwu Ameh said, “The task of keeping ports drug-free is the primary responsibility of operators in the maritime industry.
“For this to happen, we must realize the fact that the nation’s economy and security rests heavily on the shoulders of the maritime industry, while the nexus between economy, security and drugs is well documented. .
“Port stakeholders need to be able to resist the greed, that is, the temptations of what drug traffickers offer. No amount of money is compared to the sanctity of human life.
“Maritime operators must raise their level of collaboration and cooperation with the NDLEA.
“Clever clues to the clandestine activities of these unscrupulous elements who depend on the movement of ships to ply their trade will go a long way to exposing and frustrating them. We must admit that the NDLEA cannot do this alone, hence our call for concerted efforts.
“The time was when we all raised our hands over our heads lamenting our helplessness as our whole society was invaded by these drug traffickers.
“All hands must be on deck. Now we need to take a whole-of-society approach and a hands-clasped approach,” he said.
“For us to cherish the imperatives of concerted effort, we must first appreciate the enormity or magnitude of the drug disease that smacks us in the face.”
Meanwhile, Marwa noted that several arrests and seizures have been made on ships loaded with huge quantities of illicit drugs in ports.
Between January and May 2022, a total of 3,349.25 kilograms of various drugs were seized in the Lagos inland waterways alone. This is in addition to the two commercial vessels which were seized in November 2021 in connection with the importation of illicit drugs and the seizure of 74,119 kilograms (451,807 tablets) of ‘jihadist drug’ known as Captagon at the port from Apapa.
“Besides Cannabis sativa which is known to be grown in commercial quantities, the seizure of pharmaceutical opiates like Tramadol exported from Nigeria shows something: how did these large quantities of drugs enter Nigeria?
“We can say with certainty that a large part of these drugs enter the country through the waterways.”
According to the head of the NDLEA, the prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria affects all ages, genders and regions, adding that there is a great danger looming especially among the youth due to the scourge of drugs, which requires collaborative intervention. urgent.
The 2018 National Drug Use Survey revealed that 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64 use psychoactive substances. This means that one in seven people have used a drug (other than tobacco and alcohol) in the past year. More worrying is the fact that one in four drug addicts in Nigeria is a woman.
This shows that a significant number of women, who are expected to play key roles in their families and in society, are dependent on chemical substances. The results further established that more women (2.5%) than men (2.3%) abuse cough syrup containing codeine.
He said the involvement of women in drug addiction has more implications than men, especially when the essential role of women in nurturing and nurturing children is taken into account.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos