The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has launched the National Drug Control Master plan (NDCMP) 2021 to 2025 in Abuja.
This was in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Speaking at the launch of the strategic document, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig General Buba Marwa (Retd), said the five-year national action plan would address the drug problem and its associated consequences in the country.
He said the masterplan, built on four major pillars, addresses the drug issues in a comprehensive, balanced, human rights-focused and gender-responsive manner.
The NDLEA boss, who was represented by the Secretary of the agency, Shadrach Haruna, said there has been three previous blueprints in the past and the NDCMP 2021-2025, the fourth and newest version, is built on the foundation of the three previous editions.
Marwa said: “I wish to start this remark by acknowledging the support of the European Union through the “Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crime in Nigeria” project (NGAV 16) and the UNODC for its enormous support to drug control activities and especially to the development of NDCMP 2021-2025, which is best described as a pragmatic “road map” to achieving our national drug control goals.”
He said: “The NDCMP is a five-year national action plan that addresses the drug problem and its associated consequences. There have been three previous blueprints, namely the inaugural 1999-2004 edition, the second edition covering the period 2008 to 2013, and the 2015–2020 document. NDCMP 2021-2025, the fourth and newest version, is built on the foundation of the three previous editions.
“This fourth edition of the NDCMP―which rests on four strategic pillars of Supply Reduction, Drug Demand Reduction, Access to Controlled Medicines for Medical and Scientific Purposes, Governance and Coordination―addresses the drug issues in a comprehensive, balanced, human rights-focused and gender-responsive manner.”
He added that: “Aside from its functionality, NDCMP 2021-2025 is symbolic of the continuity and advancement in the effort of the Nigerian government to address the evolving drug situation. It is the outcome of two years of coordinated, collaborative and multi-agency efforts comprising experts from all the relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as Civil Society Organisations.
“An effective campaign against the production, trafficking and abuse of illicit substances requires a result-oriented, proactive and all-encompassing Modus Operandi that is consistent with globally acceptable practices and standards. NDCMP 2021-2025 provides the needed fillip concerning strategic direction, effective prioritization of issues, collaboration and inclusiveness of all relevant partners and stakeholders.
“At this juncture, I wish to unequivocally state that I do not doubt that when the mechanisms, methodologies and strategic outlines of NDCMP 2021–2015 are implemented, we would substantially win the war against abuse and trafficking of controlled drugs and illicit substances.”
The anti-narcotics czar said: “Also, with the expected active support and collaboration of all stakeholders, we would, in addition to drastically reducing the drug scourge, also effectively mitigate the harm caused by the abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs. Our ultimate objective is to promote the health, security and wellbeing of all living in Nigeria. This document is our roadmap to achieving those goals. NDCMP 2021-2025 is like a steering wheel for all the drug control campaigns currently going on in the country. The document not only addresses germane issues but also fills the identified gaps in the ongoing responses.
“I also need to say this, that without the consistent backing of the Federal Government and other supportive entities we would not have reached the point where we are today. Therefore, I sincerely wish to express our profound appreciation to His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, for the strong support and commitment towards the development of this very important strategic document.”
He said the immense appreciation of the agency goes to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami for his encouragement and dedication at various stages of articulating the NDCMP 2021–2025 and to
the members of the National Assembly, particularly, the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics as well as the House Committee on Narcotic Drugs.
Marwa said the participation and input of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that make up the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drug Control and other relevant stakeholders are duly acknowledged and applauded.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who launched the document, said it was central to Nigeria’s approach to tackling the menace of drug abuse.
Malami, who was represented by Mr Biodun Aikhomu, said the present administration is committed to decisively dealing with the problem of drug abuse in the country.
Country Representative of UNODC, Mr Oliver Stolpe, said it hoped that the latest masterplan would have more impact than the past plan.
He expressed confidence in tbe leadership of the NDLEA as well as the agency’s partners in tackling the problem of drug abuse.
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, who was also on hands at the occasion, said the country’s future is imperiled except the growing menace of drug abuse is checked.
He said the launch of the masterplan is of serious significance in the battle against the devastating effects of drug abuse.
On her part, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, expressed worry over the growing number of women and girls abusing drugs.
She said it was a dangerous trend that should be halted as the country cannot make any progress except the problem of drugs abuse is addressed.