The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it arrested 9,444 suspects and seized 612,903.48 kilograms of hard drugs in 2019.
NDLEA Chairman, retired Col. Muhammad Abdallah said this at a news briefing to commemorate the 2020 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Drug Day is celebrated every June 26 globally.
The 2020 theme, “Better knowledge for Better Care”underscores the thrusts of the combined efforts of nations of the world.
Abdallah said that NDLEA had kept faith with its mandate assiduously, saying that Cannabis cultivation had continued to attract attention because it was the most widely abused substance in Nigeria.
According to him, in the year ending 2019, a total of 310.1 tons of Cannabis were seized and destroyed publicly.
“All together for that year, 612, 903.48 kilograms of drugs were seized. The arrest figures stand at 9,444 of drug related offenders.
“A total of 1,195 convictions were recorded, while 795 drug dependent persons were counseled,” he said.
Abdallah further said that drug trafficking was not abating during the lockdown, adding that drug peddlers continued with their nefarious trade not withstanding COVID-19.
“A total of 6,465.23 kilograms of Cannabis enroute Kano at Kogi, 3,962 kilograms of Cannabis enroute Kano at Benue and 1,960 kilograms of Cannabis at Edo were intercepted during the lockdown.
“Also, 621. 0857 kilograms of Cannabis at Imo and 267.123 kilograms of Cannabis at Abia,” he said.
The NDLEA boss said that in the light of the prevailing atmosphere of COVID-19, drug dependent persons were more acutely at risk.
He said that was because of their usually attendant underling health issues, social stigmatisation, and the death of access to health care.
“That is why there has never been a tome much worse for drug dependent persons.
“The lockdown merely accentuated the dilemma as drugs of choice became scarce, increased experimentation with newer concoctions and sell mediation world only have aggravated the problem.
“Chances are that newer forms of addictions hitherto unknown may be here to be contended with. Remember also Withdrawal Syndrome might occur having cut short the supply chain as a result of the lock down.
“NDLEA have over the years alerted and acquainted the public with the frightening dimension of drug manufacturing in Nigeria that was mainly in relation to Methamphetamine.
“We are at our wits end to discover more Meth Labs not necessarily because they do not exist,” he said. (NAN)
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