Brig-General Mohamed Buba Marwa, the newly appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has bemoaned the increasing number of drug users at over 15 million in Nigeria.
Marwa who lamented the growing population of drug users during his inaugural address at the NDLEA headquarters Abuja, pointed out that about 14.3million Nigerians between the ages of 15-64 were in 2018 found to be drug users which is nearly three times global prevalence at the time.
The former military administrator of Lagos and Borno States vowed to overhaul and expand the NDLEA in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA).
He said that the agency would put equal efforts in drug demand reduction as contained in the NDLEA act and develop a strategy of work to meet objectives in the National Drug Control Masterplan 2021 – 2025 as a roadmap.
While promising to safeguard the nation and youths from drug menace, he vowed never to hesitate in penalizing defaulters. “I would like to warn those who engage in the dastardly trade of importation, export, cultivation, processing, manufacture, trafficking, sale and consumption of illicit substances to stop forthwith or be prepared to contend with the NDLEA,” he said.
Speaking on the welfare of staff, Marwa said, “I want to assure you all that your welfare will be given utmost attention. The outstanding issues of stagnation in rank, training, postings and due emoluments, will be addressed as a priority.