January 28, 2023

The leadership of the nation’s apex anti-narcotics agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says it seized one hundred million pills of the pharmaceutical opioid Tramadol within 22 months.

The agency said the illicit drugs and the cash seized are worth over N450 billion.

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According to IsL source SaharaReporters, the agency also arrested 23,907 drug traffickers and 29 drug barons within the period under review while promoting 1,018 officers to various ranks.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday through the Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.

During the Commands’ Awards/Commendations and Decoration of newly promoted officers at the Agency’s National Headquarters, Abuja, Marwa said the seized Tramadol could have impacted negatively on the youth population and national productivity of the country.

He said, “Within the period under review, the Agency arrested 23, 907 drug traffickers including 29 barons. Our seizure was over 5,500 tons or 5.5 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs, which together with cash seized are worth over N450 billion.

“In the same period, we have taken the fight to the doorsteps of cannabis growers by destroying 772. 5 hectares of cannabis farms. In these 22 months, we have record convictions of 3, 434 offenders. We have equally made good strides in our drug demand reduction efforts where the number of those counselled and rehabilitated is 16, 114.

“The figures are mere statistics until you view them through the lens of human impact and the good or harm that could have come to society, the impact on public health, security as well as law and order if those dangerous drugs had gone to the street. Take, for instance, the one hundred million pills of tramadol seized in the past 22 months.

“If those pills had gone into circulation and ended up in the hands of young people, it would take a heavy toll on lives, families, productivity and, ultimately, the GDP of the country because it will affect these young people who are the engine room of productivity.”

“We usually calculate our performance as monthly, quarterly or yearly appraisals. But drug law enforcement is generally a continuum, hence, I am wont to always appraise our efforts from January 2021, when we began far-reaching reforms, reviewed our strategies and rejigged the existing systems to accommodate innovations.

“From then till now, we have been on an upward trajectory. And indeed, what we have done in the last 22 months, from January 2021 to October 2022, based on the available statistics, is cause for celebration,” he said.

Marwa said in 2021, 3, 506 officers were promoted.

“This year, a total of 1,018 officers have been promoted to new ranks including two DCGN, 17 ACGN, 29 CN, 78 DCN and 111 ACN. Others are 63 CSN, 106 SN, 129 DSN, 25 ASN I, 400 ASN II, 9 CNA, 44 SNA, 3 NA and 2 NAS I,” he noted.

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