The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has lamented the rate of drug abuse in the country.
Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Monday, NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, said over 15 million Nigerians abuse drugs nationwide.
“It needs repeating that the number of drug users in Nigeria now, looking at all the age brackets, must be well over 15 million,” he said.
“If we extrapolate these figures from the recent UNOGC survey of 2018 which put us at 14.3 million Nigerians between the ages of 15 and 64 that are found to be drug users, which is roughly three times the global average.
“I used to be the Ambassador to South Africa/Lesotho and Swaziland; the populations of Swaziland, Lesotho, and Botswana are still not up to 15 million. It is the task of NDLEA to stop all these unacceptable nonsense.”
Marwa, who is also the former military governor of Lagos State, issued the stern warning during his first meeting with the management team of the agency.
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The NDLEA boss warned drug barons and traffickers to back out of the illicit trade or be ready for hard times.
While condemning a situation where drug use has eaten very deep into the nation’s social fabric, he reiterated the agency’s commitment to fighting every form of drug abuse in the country.
“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.
“The NDLEA will safeguard the nation and our youths from the drug menace. That is a task that must be done.
“Together, by the grace of God, we will resuscitate and reposition NDLEA to full active life, to be effective, respected and feared by the concerned criminals. Nigeria is the only country we have; we cannot fold our arms. We can, will, and must eliminate the drug scourge,” he added.